In addition to approving the coadministration of flu and COVID-19 vaccines, ACIP warns that providers should be aware their patients may exhibit increased reactogenicity. This is a term health authorities use to describe expected adverse reactions to pharmaceutical products, especially hyper-inflammatory immunological responses to vaccination.
The literature calls it a “physical manifestation of the inflammatory response to vaccination” and “symptoms may include pain, redness, swelling or induration for injected vaccines, and systemic symptoms, such as fever, myalgia, headache or rash.”
In other words, the CDC expects more people to experience side effects/adverse reactions when influenza and COVID-19 vaccines are administered concurrently. ACIP member Dr. Matthew Daly believes that this year “Most adolescents will be vaccinated [against] COVID-19 in the summer and have their flu vaccination in the fall.”
But coadministration of the two vaccines next year could increase the number of children receiving COVID-19 vaccine together with influenza vaccine and, subsequently, potentially increase reactogenicity. In the same meeting, the committee also voted unanimously to recommend a shorter rabies vaccination series for children traveling to areas where the potential risk is high.
Lastly, ACIP recommended the dengue vaccine for children ages 9 to 16 who live in areas where the virus is endemic. According to the CDC, the dengue virus spreads through the bite of a mosquito, infecting up to 400 million people each year. Each year, nearly 100 million will get sick and 22,000 will die from dengue.