A booster shot of Covid vaccine and a flu shot taken together protect your body better from infections than getting them separately, according to a new study presented at an annual Vaccines Summit in Boston.
The study involved two groups of Massachusetts healthcare workers of whom a group of 12 received a Covid booster and a seasonal influenza shot together.
The first group of 12 received the bivalent Covid booster and seasonal influenza shot together. The second group of 30 healthcare workers received the Covid booster and flu shot on different days within the same month.
What were the results?
The antibodies formed in both the groups were measured. Conclusively, the research found that the group that had their shots administered together had higher levels of IgG1 antibodies that counter Covid and the specified strain of influenza.
Amesh Adalja, a senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, told the Guardian why it was an interesting finding.
“[It’s] possibly due to enhanced stimulation of the immune system by both vaccines being present at the same time,” Adalja said.
“The key thing is to see if this has any kind of meaningful clinical benefit – do the higher levels of antibody translate into more protection against infection or disease?”
US CDC recommends getting flu shot and Covid booster together
Notably, the study has not been peer-reviewed.
But the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends “getting a flu vaccine and Covid-19 vaccine at the same visit”.
The CDC has reportedly cited one of its own studies on the side-effects that follow getting both shots at the same time.
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According to the CDC, while there are more side-effects associated with getting the Covid booster and flu shot together, the side-effects are not as bad as only getting the Covid booster.
The CDC says: “People who got a flu vaccine and Covid-19 monovalent vaccine at the same time were slightly more likely to have reactions including fatigue, headache, and muscle ache than people who only got a Covid-19 monovalent vaccine, but those reactions were mostly mild and went away quickly.”
(With inputs from agencies)