Sanofi, Moderna beef up the case for giving flu, Covid-19 vaccines to elderly in the same visit
Giving Sanofi’s flu vaccine together with a booster shot of Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine to the elderly appears to be just as safe as administering the two apart, the two companies reported, joining a small chorus of drugmakers bringing good news about co-administration of seasonal shots.
The study enrolled around 300 adults who were 65 or older.
All of the participants had received two doses of the Moderna mRNA vaccine at least five months prior. Then in one visit, they were given Fluzone, Sanofi’s high-dose quadrivalent flu vaccine, and Moderna’s mRNA-1273, intended as a booster. The high-dose formulation was specifically developed to offer higher protection to the elderly, who are at high risk for complications due to both influenza and Covid-19.
“This season, more than ever, it is critical to help protect the older adults, who are at especially high risk for both severe COVID-19 and complications from influenza, which can include heart attacks and strokes,” said Michael Greenberg, North America medical head for vaccines at Sanofi.
As flu season approaches, questions have heightened about whether it’s safe for people to receive two vaccines at the same time. Public health officials such as NIAID chief Anthony Fauci have said it’s “perfectly fine” — especially if it means one can be vaccinated in an expeditious manner.
In a recent study, British scientists led by the University of Bristol looked into co-administration with three flu vaccines and Covid-19 shots from Pfizer/BioNTech and AstraZeneca. They concluded it’s safe to get both simultaneously and it doesn’t negatively affect the immune response spurred by either.
Getting more than one vaccine at once is shaping up to be a big priority for vaccine makers. Moderna itself is working on a single jab that combines its Covid-19 booster with an experimental flu shot; Novavax has also launched studies with its in-house candidates.
It’s not limited to Covid-19, either. Days ago, Pfizer touted results from a study looking into the co-administration of Prevnar 20 (its newly approved pneumococcal vaccine) and a flu jab.
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