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VACCINE Q&A: Could the flu & COVID vaccine be combined into one shot?

Published: Apr. 20, 2021 at 6:15 AM CDT|Updated: Apr. 20, 2021 at 5:53 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - The NBC15 Vaccine Team is answering your questions about future booster shots of COVID-19 and if they could be combined with other vaccines. You can find a full list of NBC15 Vaccine Team Q&A’s HERE.

CLICK HERE to submit your own question.

QUESTION:

Can the influenza vaccine be combined with covid booster into one injection, if a booster is needed?

Mary

ANSWER:

Dr. Dan Shirley, Medical Director of Infection Prevention with UnityPoint Health – Meriter, said this is a big priority for the future of vaccinations.

He said several companies are working on using the same technologies used to develop COVID-19 vaccines, like mRNA, to make influenza vaccines. Once that happens, he said it’s likely that developers would try to combine them into one shot.

“It obviously would be very impactful if we could give a shot for the influenza and COVID at the same time, since it would be hard to tell the difference clinically in those two things and they happen in about the same season,” said Dr. Shirley.

The development of COVID-19 vaccines is likely to influence how other vaccines are produced in the future and the speed in which they can be developed. “The other major benefit of mRNA technology, but also other vaccine technology, is that we can make vaccines much more quickly,” said Dr. Shirley.

From a logistical standpoint, Dr. Shirley said this it would make it much easier for people to get vaccinated and gain protection from multiple viruses at once, without having to get multiple shots.

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