Can youngsters get a flu shot and COVID vaccine on the similar time? Right here’s what medical doctors say

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The flu season is just around the corner and it is likely that the green light will soon be given for COVID-19 vaccinations for primary school children.

Between the flu shot and the COVID-19 shots, some parents may be concerned about their kids getting a few shots in a small window.

But parents can rest assured: it’s okay for kids to have the shots close together, according to pediatricians who spoke to MarketWatch on Thursday, the same day gave Pfizer PFE, +1.71% and BioNTech BNTX, +4.42 % announced that they filed an application with the Food and Drug Administration for emergency approval of their COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5-11.

When it comes to flu shots and the COVID-19 vaccine, “they can be given at the same time, or just before, or one after the other,” said Dr. Debbie-Ann Shirley, a pediatrician at the University of Virginias Department of Pediatric Infectious Diseases.

The vaccine’s rollout for children under 12 could begin in early November after FDA approval, Jeff Zients, the White House’s coronavirus response coordinator, told CNN.

Some surveys indicate that a growing number of parents are willing to have their 5 to 11 year old children vaccinated as soon as possible in view of the Delta variant and with the coming winter.

According to Dr. Adam Ratner, head of the Department of Pediatric Infectious Diseases, according to Dr. Adam Ratner, based on “currently best available data”, no problem if a child receives a flu shot and a COVID-19 shot at the same doctor’s visit at the Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital, New York University’s Grossman School of Medicine.

“You can get them at the same time,” said Ratner. “There is no reason to believe that there would be interference between the two,” he later added.

The flu shot, followed by the two COVID-19 shots, was fine, he said. Likewise the flu vaccination between the two COVID-19 vaccinations. While it’s also a way to keep the flu shot for the end, Ratner advises against this sequence as it delays an important flu shot that can now be done.

“People should get the flu vaccine as soon as possible,” he said. With more kids back to school and more adults back to work, “I think we’re likely to have a real flu season,” Ratner said.

Shirley did the same for parents of children waiting for the COVID-19 vaccine: for now, parents should give their children “the flu vaccine because they can”.

Despite last year’s fears of a so-called “twilight”, flu activity in the 2020-2021 season was “unusually low”, said the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Of nearly 820,000 airway samples tested in clinical laboratories in the United States, 0.2% were positive for an influenza virus, the CDC said. In the three previous flu seasons, the positivity rates peaked between around 26% and 30%, the health authority said.

The CDC attributed the 2020-2021 flu season outcome to pandemic-induced social distancing and masking measures. A record 193.8 million flu vaccine doses were also distributed in the 2020-2021 season.

Regarding vaccination against flu and COVID-19 at the same time, the CDC said there are “limited data” but “experience with co-administration of other vaccines has shown how our bodies develop protection and are possible side effects in general”. similarly whether vaccines are administered alone or together with other vaccines. “

People eligible for a COVID-19 booster can get it at the same time as a flu shot, the CDC said. When the CDC website discussed taking the recordings at the same time, no special considerations were made for different age groups.

The Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine for 5 to 11 year olds would be available in a lower dose than for older age groups. Research on the flu shot and the COVID-19 vaccine for older age groups suggests “co-giving” the vaccinations is okay, Shirley said.

Parents should remember the string of gunshots their kids get when they see the doctor, Shirley said.

“What we know in the age group from 5 to 11 years old, we routinely give them several vaccinations”, and the large number of vaccinations – which are already given after two months in a child’s life – are tolerated. “There’s no reason to expect COVID to be any different,” she said.

Where do you get the shot

Whenever FDA approves the 5-11 year old age group, the vaccine will be much more widespread than it was when it was first introduced to parents and grandparents.

“We all want to work towards the same thing, the ability for pediatricians to administer the vaccine in their practice,” Ratner said.

However, national pharmacies can also be a place where parents can suspend a flu shot and a COVID shot for themselves and their children. CVS CVS, +1.26%, is ready for “any increase in demand for the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine,” and will follow CDC and FDA rules and recommendations, said Joe Goode, a company spokesman said.

The planning tool on CVS.com gives patients the option to get a flu shot along with a COVID-19 vaccine appointment, he noted. “The flu vaccine is now available in all CVS pharmacies and MinuteClinic locations across the country for people of all ages, including children six months and older.”

According to CDC guidelines, “Walgreens pharmacy team members can co-administer vaccinations to patients eligible for COVID-19 vaccines, including children 12 and older,” said Alexandra Brown, a Walgreens WBA spokeswoman. “Patients are encouraged to have their first series of COVID-19 vaccinations or a booster shot along with their flu shot during the same visit, saving time and protecting against both viruses.”

Speaking of the 5-11 year old population, Brown said, “We await FDA and CDC guidelines on COVID-19 vaccine recommendations.”

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