Vaccination can be an incendiary topic, but the fact is that across Canada many employers and facilities are now in the position of needing to enforce mandatory inoculation against COVID-19 for any residents, tenants, workers, or visitors in their buildings. Amid fears of a highly resurgent flu season this winter, could combination vaccines be the key to the near future?
A paper recently published in The Lancet outlines that scientists have been testing the combination of adenoviral vector or mRNA COVID-19 vaccines with an influenza vaccine, and the first clinical trial has shown the combination vaccines are safe and ostensibly provide protection against both COVID-19 and influenza.
Researchers believe combination vaccines might help on numerous fronts, including providing enhanced protection for facility owners and maintenance staff.
It could also feasibly help to alleviate vaccine hesitancy. A report published in Contagion Infection Control Today notes that and a recent survey from the U.S. National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID) found that 44 per cent of the U.S. population are unsure or do not plan to get vaccinated against influenza.
The combination vaccine could be used to administer COVID-19 booster doses at the same time as season flu vaccines.
“By performing the trial in relation to the second rather than the first dose of COVID-19 vaccine, we have evaluated safety and immunogenicity in primed individuals,” said Rajeka Lazarus, DPhil, Department of Microbiology at University Hospitals Bristol and Weston, NHS Foundation Trust in Bristol, UK, in the report. “Therefore, the findings are also likely to be more relevant to the question of concomitant administration of booster doses and seasonal influenza vaccines, which over time may become the ‘norm’ in many parts of the world.”