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New guidance says coadministration of COVID-19 and flu vaccines is safe and improves uptake, and calls for pharmacists’ involvement

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The Hague • 6 September 2022

Vaccination is a key strategy in the prevention of respiratory infectious diseases like COVID-19 and influenza, and therefore improves people’s quality of life. Administering vaccines against COVID-19 and flu at the same time increases uptake of each vaccine and increases protection against both diseases.

These are the facts behind new guidance — “Optimising vaccination through coadministration of influenza and COVID-19 vaccines: Guidance for pharmacists” — published by the International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP) today.

In the guidance, there are chapters looking separately at the impact of COVID-19 and flu, and a further chapter comparing the characteristics of the two diseases. A final chapter focuses on opportunities for coadministration of the two vaccines and how pharmacists can contribute to global health by supporting this. The guidance also summarises three clinical trials whose outcomes support the safety of coadministration of these vaccines.

The guidance highlights that coadministration is convenient for patients, saves patients’ time and increases the probability that people will be fully vaccinated. It adds that, while there is a need for more data on safety and effectiveness of different combinations of vaccines, the currently available evidence supports coadministration, as highlighted by guidelines issued by the World Health Organization. FIP believes that pharmacies, which people visit frequently to access medicines and services, are ideal locations for vaccines coadministration.

Gonçalo Sousa Pinto, FIP lead for practice development and transformation, and co-author of the guidance, said: “Many countries still do not have pharmacy-based vaccine administration services. FIP encourages pharmacists around the world to advocate pharmacy vaccines administration programmes and to seek legislative approaches to facilitate their implementation. Where such regulations are already in place, advocating pharmacy-based coadministration of flu and COVID-19 vaccines will contribute to improving vaccination coverage against both diseases.”

The guidance is available here.

Notes for editors

The International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP) is the global federation of national associations of pharmacists and pharmaceutical scientists, and is in official relations with the World Health Organization. Through our 146 member organisations, we represent over four million practitioners and scientists around the world. Our vision is a world where everyone benefits from access to safe, effective, quality and affordable medicines and pharmaceutical care.

Lin-Nam Wang, head of communications & advocacy
International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP)
Tel +31 70 302 1987

Last update 5 July 2018

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