The CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) not too long ago unanimously voted 14-0 to coadminister the COVID-19 and flu vaccine to adults and youngsters.1 The proposed coverage for the 2021-2022 influenza season was made to implement modifications that coincide with the timing of youngsters returning to college in fall 2021, and to align with the CDC’s tips permitting COVID-19 vaccines to be coadministered with different vaccines.
This additionally would be the first influenza season2 the place almost all out there flu vaccines are quadrivalent,3 somewhat than trivalent. This means flu photographs will comprise 4 vaccine pressure influenza viruses — two influenza A viruses and two influenza B viruses.
The ACIP vaccine coverage suggestions additionally included specific information about when influenza vaccines must be given to youngsters and adults.4 For instance, the suggestions direct vaccine suppliers to give non-pregnant adults flu photographs after August due to issues about waning vaccine-acquired synthetic immunity.
Vaccine suppliers are directed to give youngsters flu photographs by the top of October, with the canine kidney (MDCK) cell-based Flucelvax quadrivalent vaccine now being really useful for kids beginning at age 2 and older.
The coverage additionally requires precautions in giving a vaccine to anybody with a reasonable or extreme acute sickness, historical past of Guillain-Barré syndrome inside six weeks of receiving an influenza vaccine, or a historical past of extreme allergic reactions to some other dose of flu vaccine.5
Unanimous Vote: CDC Approved One Flu and COVID Vaccine
In addition to approving the coadministration of flu and COVID-19 vaccines, ACIP warns that suppliers must be conscious their sufferers could exhibit elevated reactogenicity. This is a time period well being authorities use to describe anticipated adversarial reactions to pharmaceutical merchandise, particularly hyper-inflammatory immunological responses to vaccination.
The literature6 calls it a “physical manifestation of the inflammatory response to vaccination” and “symptoms may include pain, redness, swelling or induration for injected vaccines, and systemic symptoms, such as fever, myalgia, headache or rash.”
In different phrases, the CDC expects extra folks to expertise side effects/adverse reactions when influenza and COVID-19 vaccines are administered concurrently. ACIP member Dr. Matthew Daly believes that this yr “Most adolescents will be vaccinated [against] COVID-19 in the summer and have their flu vaccination in the fall.”7
But coadministration of the 2 vaccines subsequent yr might enhance the variety of youngsters receiving COVID-19 vaccine along with influenza vaccine and, subsequently, doubtlessly enhance reactogenicity. In the identical assembly, the committee additionally voted unanimously to advocate a shorter rabies vaccination collection for kids touring to areas the place the potential threat is excessive.
Lastly, ACIP really useful the dengue vaccine for kids ages 9 to 16 who dwell in areas the place the virus is endemic. According to the CDC,8 the dengue virus spreads via the chunk of a mosquito, infecting up to 400 million folks annually. Each yr, almost 100 million will get sick and 22,000 will die from dengue.
No Evidence to Suggest Concurrent Vaccination Policy Is Safe
Despite the unanimous vote by CDC well being specialists charged with defending the well being of U.S. residents, there is no such thing as a proof to recommend that giving youngsters or adults influenza and COVID-19 vaccines concurrently on the identical day is protected. Some ACIP members famous the dearth of knowledge proving that concurrent vaccination coverage is protected.
However, Medpage9 studies that CDC employees countered by citing one preprint examine10 — revealed simply days earlier than the ACIP assembly — that examined the security points and efficacy of coadministering flu vaccine with the Novavax COVID-19 vaccine.
With this examine, CDC employees famous there have been “no changes in antibody titers for influenza vaccine and no safety issues” when give together, though contributors did have higher tenderness or ache on the injection web site, and larger ranges of fatigue and muscle ache.
It’s additionally essential to observe that the information on which they primarily based this resolution was gathered from a sub-study of simply 217 contributors who had fewer comorbid circumstances and have been youthful than these of their vaccine’s foremost examine.11
Also vital to observe is that the experimental Novavax COVID-19 vaccine is a subunit protein,12 which is completely different from the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines. This signifies that information from the Novavax examine can’t be extrapolated to the experimental mRNA vaccines now being administered beneath an EUA.13
Unlike the messenger RNA vaccines, which use genetic materials to set off the physique to make components of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, the Novavax vaccine’s protein adjuvant incorporates the spike protein as a nanoparticle.14 The producer proposes that it stimulates the immune system to acknowledge the virus and resist an infection.
Additionally, not one of the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines being distributed beneath an EUA has been examined for security and efficacy when coadministered with influenza vaccine. In different phrases, the CDC made a suggestion that the 2 vaccines may be given concurrently to youngsters and adults with out offering knowledge conclusively demonstrating security or efficacy.
Could Flu Vaccines Increase Risk of COVID-19?
Over the years, knowledge have demonstrated that the flu vaccine has stored lacking the mark when it comes to effectiveness. In the 2004-2005 season, the vaccine’s general effectiveness was solely 10%,15 which implies 90% of the time it failed. During the 2012-2013 flu season it was 49% efficient general and in 2014-2015 it was solely 19% efficient general.
The abysmal success price of the seasonal influenza vaccines is expounded to how the vaccine is developed annually.16 Because influenza viruses are continually mutating, the vaccine should be reviewed and up to date to embody these the scientists estimate will likely be circulating within the coming flu season.
Each yr, 100 facilities in over 100 international locations conduct surveillance, which incorporates testing hundreds of influenza virus samples from sufferers. Twice a yr these outcomes are analyzed, and the World Health Organization recommends the precise viruses that must be included within the coming yr’s influenza vaccine. In America, the FDA makes the ultimate resolution.
In different phrases, scientists should guess primarily based on previous knowledge which influenza viruses will likely be circulating within the upcoming season. There can also be proof from Canadian research17 that with repeated vaccinations, flu vaccine effectiveness wanes. This sort of examine is not going to be accomplished within the U.S. for the easy cause that U.S. authorities advocate everybody get vaccinated yearly. As famous by STAT information:18
“Given that policy, it would be unethical for researchers here to randomly assign some people to forgo vaccinations in some years. But experts elsewhere, including in Hong Kong, where influenza circulates year-round, are trying to put together the funding for what would have to be a large, multiyear study.”
The SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19 additionally mutates and is predicted to proceed to mutate within the setting, leading to new pressure variants. Additionally, a examine revealed in January 2020 within the journal Vaccine19 discovered that individuals who had obtained influenza vaccines through the 2017-2018 flu season have been extra possible to get some type of coronavirus an infection.
When in contrast to unvaccinated people, those that had gotten the seasonal flu shot have been 36% extra possible to contract an unspecified coronavirus an infection and 51% extra possible to contract human metapneumovirus, which has respiratory signs related to COVID-19.
In October 2020,20 one other constructive affiliation was discovered between COVID-19 deaths and flu vaccination charges within the aged. This means coadministration of those vaccines could have doubtlessly severe unwanted side effects.
An evaluation of knowledge21 from 39 international locations with greater than one-half million inhabitants confirmed that these over 65 years previous who had gotten a flu shot had an elevated threat of demise from COVID-19. An evaluation revealed in May 202022 checked out European international locations with the very best COVID-19 demise charges and discovered these international locations additionally had the very best price of influenza vaccinations among the many aged.
Why COVID-19 Vaccine for Children Is Very Risky
There isn’t any proof that coadministration of influenza vaccine and COVID vaccine is protected, however there’s proof that giving the COVID-19 vaccine to youngsters is extraordinarily dangerous. A video entitled “Why Children Should Not Receive the COVID Shot,” options feedback that Peter Doshi, Ph.D., made throughout a June 10, 2021, assembly of the FDA’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee.
Doshi is the senior editor of The BMJ and affiliate professor on the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy. In a paper revealed in The BMJ, he factors out that Pfizer’s declare the vaccine is 95% efficient refers to relative threat discount. The absolute risk reduction is definitely lower than 1%.23
In addition, the first endpoint measured is a discount in severity and not the vaccine’s means to forestall an infection or save lives. The resolution to vaccinate must be made on a risk-benefit evaluation, the place the profit far outweighs the potential dangers concerned.
However, as I mentioned within the linked article above, the advantages are uncommon, the unwanted side effects are frequent, and the long-term results are fully unknown. For instance, Pfizer boasts a 100% efficacy price within the 12-to-15 age group. In the video, Doshi explains this was primarily based on lower than 2% of the placebo group getting COVID-19, whereas none within the absolutely vaccinated group received sick.
As reported in The Defender,24 most of the unwanted side effects have been short-lived however, by June 11, 2021, there have been 6,332 complete adversarial occasions in 12- to 17-year-olds, seven deaths and 271 occasions rated “serious.”
According to OpenVAERS25 one week later, knowledge via June 18, 2021, confirmed 11,584 adversarial occasions and 9 deaths in the identical age group. In one week, there have been two extra deaths and 5,252 extra adversarial occasions reported to OpenVAERS.
One of the explanations well being specialists give for vaccinating youngsters, a lot of whom Doshi explains have pure immunity from a COVID-19 an infection, is to profit adults. This follow is typically known as “cocooning” and has by no means been confirmed to be efficient.
The authors of an editorial in The BMJ26 confused that giving youngsters COVID-19 vaccine is “hard to justify right now” since youngsters expertise delicate illness signs and transmission is proscribed, whereas the potential for unintended consequences from the vaccine is excessive. They go on to write:
“Should childhood an infection (and re-exposures in adults) proceed to be usually delicate, childhood vaccination is not going to be mandatory to halt the pandemic. The marginal advantages ought to due to this fact be thought-about within the context of native healthcare assets, equitable distribution of vaccines globally, and a extra nuanced understanding of the variations between vaccine and an infection induced immunity.
Once most adults are vaccinated, circulation of SARS-CoV-2 could in reality be fascinating, as it’s possible to lead to main an infection early in life when illness is delicate, adopted by booster re-exposures all through maturity as transmission blocking immunity wanes however illness blocking immunity stays excessive. This would maintain reinfections delicate and immunity up to date.”
How to Report a Vaccine Reaction
The variety of vaccines really useful by well being authorities for kids has grown considerably up to now a long time.27 The CDC’s childhood vaccine schedule recommends all youngsters obtain 69 doses of 16 vaccines with 50 doses of 14 vaccines given between the day of start and age 18. The majority of youngsters within the U.S. as we speak obtain 3 times as many vaccinations as youngsters obtained in 1983.
If you or your little one will get a COVID-19 vaccine and your well being deteriorates inside hours, days or perhaps weeks of being vaccinated, the medical skilled who gave you the shot is required to file a report with the federal vaccine adversarial occasion reporting system (VAERS).28
Despite the VAERS having been established in 199029 and used for over 30 years, Dr. Anne Schuchat from the CDC stated in an interview with ABC News30 that one of many causes for pausing the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine was to teach vaccine suppliers how to report adversarial occasions to VAERS.
Since the experimental COVID-19 vaccines at present are being distributed beneath an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) granted to vaccine producers by the FDA) there’s a nice want to report vaccine reactions, particularly accidents and deaths. If your well being care supplier refuses to file an harm report with VAERS, the system permits you to do it yourself.
As of June 18, 2021, the system reveals there have been 6,136 deaths, 21,806 folks hospitalized and 51,575 folks seen in pressing care after receiving a COVID-19 vaccination. Additionally, the system highlights these accidents:31
|Life threatening reactions||6,450|
|Myocarditis or pericarditis||1,644|
|Low platelet depend||1,776|
|Severe allergic reactions||17,408|
|Tinnitus (ringing within the ear)||4,447|
You can report a adversarial response to a COVID-19 vaccine, or to some other vaccine, to the VAERS system.32,33 There are two methods to make a report — online or via a writable PDF type that may be uploaded to the system. If you have got any questions name 1-800-822-7967.