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Minor Potential Increase in Stroke Risk with Seniors Receiving Concurrent COVID-19 and Flu Vaccinations



Recent study hints at a minor uptick in stroke risk for seniors aged 85+ getting simultaneous COVID-19 and flu shots. (Shutterstock)
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A recent study suggests that there may be a slight increase in the risk of stroke in older adults, particularly those aged 85 and above, when they receive both Covid-19 and flu vaccines simultaneously. The US Food and Drug Administration detected this safety signal while analyzing Medicare claims data. This is the second study to identify a potential increase in stroke risk for seniors receiving both vaccines at the same time.

Weighing the Risks and Benefits

However, the risk identified in the FDA’s study is extremely small, with approximately 3 strokes or transient ischemic attacks per 100,000 doses administered. The study also found that the risk may be primarily driven by high-dose or adjuvanted flu vaccines, which are designed to stimulate a stronger immune response.

Expert Opinions and Recommendations

Despite the findings, experts stress that the absolute risk is minimal compared to the risk of severe outcomes from COVID-19 or influenza. They recommend that everyone should still get vaccinated, as the slight increase in stroke risk is far outweighed by the risk of serious illness from either infection.

Some experts suggest that those concerned about the potential risk could consider receiving each vaccine at different times. However, they emphasize that the benefits of vaccination still greatly outweigh the risks.

The study is observational and cannot prove cause and effect. It has been posted as a preprint ahead of peer review and publication in a medical journal.

Read more at CNN.

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