Covid vaccine could be given alongside flu jab

The Government is exploring the possibility of giving patients a Covid-19 vaccine at the same time as they receive their flu jab in the coming flu season.

Draft minutes from the June 3 meeting of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), which were published last week, reveal that the Government was seeking the JCVI’s views on the “safety of co-administration of influenza vaccines with SARS-CoV-2 vaccines, and whether a gap between vaccinations would be required”.

This arises from concerns that there could be a resurgence of coronavirus in the community in the winter months, when influenza is more prevalent.

The JCVI said data on the safety and effectiveness of co-administering the vaccines “would be helpful” and that any such studies “would be dependent on timely supply of both vaccines”.

The committee recommended that “concomitant administration with other vaccines, particularly influenza vaccines, should form part of [coronavirus] vaccine trial designs”.

It emerged this afternoon that a coronavirus vaccine being developed by the University of Oxford triggers an immune response and appears to be safe. However, it is unclear whether it can prevent individuals against infection with coronavirus .

Professor Andrew Pollard, one of the researchers working on the vaccine, told the BBC: "We're really pleased with the results published today as we're seeing both neutralising antibodies and T-cells.

"They're extremely promising and we believe the type of response that may be associated with protection.

"But the key question everyone wants to know is does the vaccine work, does it offer protection... and we're in a waiting game."

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