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Study released on a COVID and flu combo vaccine

A San Diego health care worker prepares a flu vaccine in this undated photo.
Kris Arciaga
A San Diego health care worker prepares a flu vaccine in this undated photo.

A recent study is bringing the idea of a combined flu and COVID-19 vaccine one step closer to reality.

Just like the start of the flu season brings on the annual reminders for a flu shot, that could be the case for the COVID-19 vaccine, amid talk of an annual COVID-19 booster.

"The data from earlier this week, really are part of that data stream and it's good news to be getting to see these sorts of things moving toward availability," said Dr. Robert Schooley with UC San Diego Health.


RELATED: San Diego County cites spike in flu cases, but many are old cases just being reported

He said there are many benefits to combining the two vaccines. "Being able to get them both in one injection takes care of two birds with one stone. You don't have to run the risk of having people only getting one or not going back for the other and having the pandemics come anyway. So there are a lot of potential benefits to having them put together," Schooley said.

The study followed over 300 people split into three groups. One group received just the flu vaccine, one just the COVID-19 booster vaccine, and the other a mixture of the two. Researchers found the group who got the combo vaccine had just as much protection against COVID-19 and the flu as the groups who got the stand alone vaccines.

The study said no serious side effects were reported in any of the three groups.

Lilian Serrano with Universidad Popular is excited about the idea of a flu and COVID-19 combo vaccine.


“Tools like having one shot that will provide two protections are definitely key and are welcome by the community," she said, "because once again when you don't normally go to the doctor or normally receive vaccines, being able to get one shot and be done is a very important component when making a decision to receive it or not."

Study released on a COVID and flu combo vaccine

Universidad Popular has been working to get more Latinos vaccinated and boosted.

While no official announcement has been made on annual COVID-19 boosters, Moderna is already working on a combined COVID-19 and flu vaccine.

That vaccine is expected to be ready in 2023.