World news – Using the flu shot and the COVID-19 vaccine at the same time will be complicated in 2021


The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunization (ATAGI) issued recommendations for local immunization providers in its statement on the administration of seasonal influenza vaccines in the Southern Hemisphere in 2021.

On March 19, 2021, ATAGI announced that that flu vaccinations will be available through the National Immunization Program in April 2021. However, timing may vary between areas.

In addition, ATAGI confirmed that for the first time in Australia, both flu and COVID-19 vaccines will be available at the same time. « It is important to plan the timing of vaccination so that the best possible protection against these two potentially serious diseases is guaranteed. »

The ATAGI published recommendations for vaccination providers in the statement on the relative timing of influenza vaccines and COVID-19 vaccines in 2021. The highlights of these recommendations are listed below.

ATAGI does not recommend scheduling and administering a flu vaccine with a COVID-19 vaccine on the same day. An interval of at least 14 days is recommended between a dose of a flu vaccine and a dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

This 14-day interval is for either the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine (Comirnaty) or the AstraZeneca COVID- 19 vaccine same.

If you are scheduling patients for a flu shot, also ask if they have had a COVID-19 vaccine in the last 14 days. Before giving the flu vaccine, check the Australian Immunization Registry to see if the patient has received a COVID-19 vaccine.

In the US, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicated on February 18, 2021 ( CDC), COVID-19 vaccines should be administered alone, with a minimum interval of 14 days before or after administration of other vaccines, including influenza vaccines.

This is due to a lack of data on the safety and effectiveness of COVID- 19 vaccines given at the same time as other vaccines. If a COVID-19 vaccine is accidentally administered within 14 days of another vaccine, doses do not need to be repeated for either vaccine.

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