Analysis of the benefits and risks of co-administration of COVID-19 and influenza vaccines

Help defend sufferers by giving them the info about getting two pictures directly to save lots of journey and improve vaccination charges.

Sebastian Hamilton, MBA, PharmD, RPh, Chief Pharmacy Officer for Operations and Community and Outpatient Partnerships and PGY-1/PGY-2 in Health System Pharmacy Administration and Leadership + Boston Medical Center and Massachusetts Board of Pharmacy Registration MBA Residency Program Director, spoke Drug Topics® About twin vaccination towards COVID-19 and influenza.

How can pharmacists reassure or encourage sufferers that it’s protected to take two injections at the similar time?

Hamilton advised having a fast dialog with sufferers about how handy the vaccinations are generally and why they’re contemplating getting each vaccines, resembling getting a job or being a accountable member of the family. “From right here, you are higher ready with an applicable response to reassurance or encouragement, emphasizing that taking the two vaccines collectively is protected and efficient,” he stated.

Specifically, he famous that pharmacists can clarify to sufferers:

  • Although the flu and COVID-19 are each respiratory diseases, every is attributable to a unique virus. By receiving these vaccines at the similar time, immunity from every illness may be obtained extra rapidly.
  • Both vaccines defend towards every illness safely and successfully, even when used collectively. It is supported and beneficial by the CDC.
  • Vaccines are FDA-approved (flu vaccines) or permitted for emergency use (COVID-19 vaccines).
  • It is handy to mix the two. He advised telling sufferers that it is “survivable and you might be delaying one other vaccination, so get it now whilst you’re right here.”

Have any further unintended effects been reported from receiving two pictures? What ought to pharmacists warn sufferers about?

Hamilton stated it is necessary to clarify to sufferers what unintended effects are anticipated from the vaccine for transparency. “Tell sufferers that it is regular to expertise delicate signs after receiving a single shot, so two pictures at the similar time do not make a distinction,” she stated. He added that pharmacists needs to be particular about unintended effects, which embody signs resembling fatigue, physique aches and pains, low-grade fever, headache, and hand ache at the injection website, that are widespread in all instances.

“These could trigger some discomfort, however share that they’re self-limiting and that sufferers ought to see their physician in the event that they persist for greater than 72 hours. Reassure sufferers that these signs are a sign that their immune system is working to guard them when they’re uncovered to the virus,” he suggested. He added that if a affected person has these signs throughout vaccination, he encourages them to plan a day or so of relaxation after vaccination and to be lively.

Is it higher to do the vaccines in a single arm or one in every arm? Why?

Hamilton defined that there was no distinction in immune response or higher safety if the vaccines got in the similar arm, one in every arm. “The primary distinction right here is private desire and consolation degree,” Hamilton stated Drug Topics®. “However, the mostly reported facet impact by vaccinated sufferers is ache at the injection website. If sufferers obtain two vaccines in the similar arm, this may occasionally trigger extra discomfort in that arm than if 1 vaccine is run in every arm. Because of the chance of this occurring, it is best for pharmacists to advocate one shot in every arm,” Hamilton stated.

What are the the explanation why sufferers refuse to obtain two injections at the similar time? How can pharmacists persuade sufferers to obtain each vaccines?

According to Hamilton, the greatest cause sufferers refuse to take each pictures is as a result of they’re anxious about the unintended effects they’ve had or heard about from others. “Pharmacists can hearken to the affected person’s issues and ease the anxiousness. Tell them that the earlier they get vaccinated with each vaccines, the quicker they may develop antibodies, if and when they’re uncovered, they are going to be protected,” he stated. Hamilton stated sufferers may be reassured that there will likely be much less discomfort from the shot than in the event that they had been to contract the present virus with out the vaccine.

“Patients may be inspired to slender the window of alternative by getting each vaccines,” he stated.

Patients who’re nonetheless involved and do not need to get two vaccines ought to take into account this resolution as the proper selection for pharmacists, Hamilton stated. “If the affected person is contemplating getting each at the similar time, allow them to know that they’ll separate the vaccinations and get each vaccinations sooner.”

Other than the apparent, resembling a foul response to a earlier vaccine, there isn’t a cause to not provide sufferers a flu and COVID booster at the similar time, Hamilton defined.

He added that youngsters can obtain each vaccines at the similar time. Pharmacists needs to be conscious of unintended effects just like adults, resembling arm ache. “Pharmacists ought to make certain the youngster has an general optimistic expertise, and they need to brag to their mates about how simple it was to get their vaccines,” Hamilton stated.

He emphasised that pharmacists ought to consider the kid’s age when receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, as it’s now. “For these 6 years of age and older, the flu vaccine is beneficial together with the COVID-19 booster,” he stated.

A hyperlink

1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Frequently requested questions on influenza (flu): 2022-2023 season. https://www.cdc.gov/flu/season/faq-flu-season-2022-2023.htm. Updated October 17, 2022. Accessed October 25, 2022.

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