Is it safe to get the flu jab and Covid vaccine at the same time?

ROLLOUTS of the flu vaccine and Covid boosters are in full swing.

Most people are either getting their jabs close together or at the same time.

Is it safe to get the flu jab and Covid vaccine at the same time?
Brits are having flu and Covid jabs at the same time in a mass rollout

This is because health bosses are worried there will be a wave of flu cases bigger than the country has faced for a while.

On top of this, Covid is still with us in high numbers and the combination of both viruses could cause trouble for the NHS.

But with two different vaccines, it’s understandable that Brits might be worried getting them at the same time might be unsafe.

However plenty of research and consideration has gone into offering them together.

Is it safe?

The short answer is yes.

Studies found that it makes no difference if you have them at the same time or close together.

One study, led by the University of Bristol, found reported side effects were usually mild to moderate in tests with three flu vaccines and either Pfizer or AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 shot.

“This is a really positive step which could mean fewer appointments for those who require both vaccines,” chief investigator Rajeka Lazarus said.

What have the experts said?

The Joint Committee for Vaccination and Immunisation said having both Covid and flu vaccines is “generally well tolerated with no diminution of vaccine-induced immune responses to either vaccine”.

A statement given to Government said: “It is not the intention of JCVI that the 2021 COVID-19 booster vaccine programme should disrupt or delay deployment of the annual influenza vaccination programme.

“Both of these programmes are important for individual and public health, especially over winter 2021 to 2022.

“Where operationally expedient, COVID-19 and influenza vaccines may be co-administered.”

Who is eligible for the booster jab?

In order to get the third dose of the life-saving vaccine, people in the UK have to wait to be told they can book in.

At the moment only those over 50 and over 16s with an underlying health condition, and health and social care workers will be offered a booster.

And only a portion of those groups will be eligible for a booster, as a large chunk won’t be more than six months on from their second jab – which is vital for booster requirements.

So even if you are in the groups able to be offered a booster, you have to wait to be called up.

Who can get a flu jab?

Flu jabs started from September for children aged two and three, all primary school children, people aged 50 and over, pregnant women, unpaid carers, and frontline health and adult social care staff.

The NHS offers a free flu jab to those most at risk of getting the virus so if you qualify then you can get it free anywhere that offers it.

But it’s also a good idea to book in for one even if you don’t fall into the vulnerable categories.

At Boots it costs £15 which, if you can afford it, is potentially a small price to pay for getting really sick and missing days of work.