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Coronavirus and Influenza: Vaccination

Question for Department of Health and Social Care

UIN 60452, tabled on 21 October 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he has taken to coordinate the delivery of flu and covid-19 vaccines to allow people to receive both at the same time.

Answered on

24 November 2021

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) have advised that, where operationally expedient, COVID-19 and flu vaccines may be co-administered at the same appointment. Data from the ComFluCOV trial indicate that coadministration of the flu and COVID-19 vaccines is generally well tolerated, with no reduction of vaccine-induced immune responses to either vaccine. Coadministration of COVID-19 and flu vaccines is therefore being offered proactively by clinicians where appropriate.

The JCVI has advised that the COVID-19 vaccine booster dose is offered no earlier than six months after completion of the primary vaccine course. In certain circumstances, the JCVI advise some operational flexibility. Therefore COVID-19 booster vaccine administration may be brought forward to a minimum of five months in some circumstances, such as where an eligible individual presents to receive a flu vaccine.

As well as often offering both vaccines at the same appointment if individuals are eligible, a further step being taken is the co-promotion of both vaccination programmes to ensure eligible patients are aware of the vaccines they should be receiving.

Coadministration is not always possible. For example, seasonal influenza and COVID-19 viruses are different, and therefore the eligibility for vaccination under each programme differs. People may be offered the two vaccines at different times and are encouraged to get their vaccinations as soon as possible rather than waiting for the possibility of getting them together.