Influenza vaccine and 3rd anti-Covid dose in one appointment: how will it be?

The 2021 flu vaccination campaign starts on October 26. From this date, it will be possible to benefit concomitantly from a third dose of Covid vaccine during a single meeting. Comment ? Where ? Explanations.

While the Covid-19 epidemic is weakening in France, the booster vaccination campaign has started in the Ehpad and USLDs. Objective: to protect this more fragile population vaccinated more than six months ago, and whose immunity declines more quickly with age.

The third dose is also recommended by health authorities over 65s and those with co-morbidities. They can therefore already benefit from it, even if in its opinion, the High Authority for Health (HAS) had recommended that the recall campaign starts “from the start of the influenza vaccination campaign”, so from the end of October. “The HAS wanted to wait for the opinion of the Medicines Agency (expected end of September, editor’s note) to have safety data and be sure that the 3rd dose was well tolerated “, Pr Elisabeth Bouvet (HAS) explained to Top Santé.

Why do both injections at the same time?

For HAS, rcarry out the concomitant administration of vaccines against Covid-19 and against seasonal influenza allowssimplify the vaccination course for lthe people eligibles to both vaccinations, most of the priority populations for influenza vaccination also presenting risks of severe forms of Covid-19.

When ?The countryside anti-influenza starting this year on October 26, the double flu / Covid vaccination can be done from that date.

Before October 26, people who will receive their anti-covid booster will therefore not be able to have both vaccines. “This represents half of those over 80, and a third of those over 65, the Ministry of Health tells us. They will be reminded at the time of their vaccination of the need to be vaccinated against the flu. “

For who ?People over 65 and those suffering from chronic pathologies, priority for vaccination anti-influenza are also priority at the booster dose.

Isn’t it risky to have both vaccines on the same day? According to the opinion of the HAS on the synchronization of the two vaccines, it is possible to have the two doses injected on the same day (one in each arm). If this is not the case, there must be a period of 15 days. The Ministry of Health says it is working with scientific authorities “to verify that the deadline is appropriate”.

Or make an appointment for this double vaccination ?

Usually, to be vaccinated against the flu, priority people receive a health insurance voucher to collect their vaccine at the pharmacy. They can be vaccinated by the professional of their choice, doctor, midwife, nurse or volunteer pharmacist.

On the logistics side, that’s good: the Pfizer vaccine, which is currently only accessible in the vaccination center, will be available in town from October 1st. Thatwill open so the possibility of the double flu / Covid vaccination: the two injections can be done at the same time in pharmacies that vaccinate with both vaccines, as well as in doctors ‘and nurses’ offices, from October 26, once the influenza vaccine is available.

But the idea would also be to “be able to collect their influenza vaccine from the pharmacy to be injected in the center“, specifies the Ministry of Health. Concretely,” people will be able to buy their influenza vaccine in pharmacies and bring it with them on the day of their appointment at the vaccination center for their Covid recall “.

With which anti-Covid vaccine? The Moderna vaccine is already available in town. The Pfizer will also be in October. It will therefore be possible to couple the influenza vaccination to one of the two messenger RNA vaccines. Health authorities authorizing heterologous vaccination. In short: the two available mRNA vaccines (Pfizer and Moderna) being both very effective against severe forms of Covid-19, including those related to the Delta variant, they can both be used for the third booster injection . If you received your first doses with a Moderna vaccine, you may receive a 3rd dose of Pfizer and vice versa.

Tomorrow, a single combined influenza / Covid vaccine?

To further improve logistics, the ideal would be to combine in a single injection, a recall anti-flu and an anti-Covid reminder. Several research teams working there already. Thus Modern announced via a press release on September 9, Development of a new vaccine candidate combining a vaccine against Covid-19 and a booster vaccine against seasonal influenza. This would save time every year for adapter vaccines with circulating viral strains (variants).

American company Novavax is also in the process of developing a vaccine that would protect against both Covid-19 and influenza. This one has already shown results encouraginggiants in hamsters and ferrets. Human clinical trials are scheduled for the end of the year.

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