Vaccine Advice

Just out from the FDA and CDC:

  1. The FDA limited approval of booster shots for the Covid vaccines to those over 65 or with impaired immune systems. The reasoning is based on a lack of proof that the booster shot will help others (not saying it won’t, just it hasn’t been proven yet) plus concerns over the US and other affluent countries hogging the world supply of vaccines.
  2. The Covid and seasonal flu vaccines can be taken at the same time. This recommendation is based on research, logic and cynicism. First, the research says it’s OK. Second, the Covid vaccine is based on genetic engineering while the quadrivalent flu vaccine this year is based on traditional egg-based technology — no overlapping components so why would there be a problem? Third, there’s concern that if they are given at different times, people won’t come back for the second shot. Thus, just get it done.

To elaborate on the second point —

In an interview with Medscape Medical News, [Andrew] Noymer [University of California, Irvine] commented, “People often wonder, can the body handle two vaccines simultaneously? The answer is yes, and we do this all the time. The MMR vaccine given to children is, in fact, a cocktail of three vaccines, and the MMRV is a cocktail of four. So I’m not concerned by dual administration of influenza and COVID vaccines.

“In some Platonic-ideal sense, it would be better to do the vaccines 2 weeks apart, because then one can disentangle adverse effects,” Noymer added. “But these are rare enough at this point that it doesn’t concern me. The reason for the recommendation of both at once is attrition: some people who intend to come back for their second shot wind up just skipping it. Thus, do them both at once.”(2)



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