A recommendation by the White House to take both the COVID-19 and flu shots at the same time raises the risk of strokes, an FDA analysis showed last week.
White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator Dr. Ashish Jha urged Americans in September to take both injections at the same time.
“The good news is you can get both your flu shot and COVID shot at the same time. It’s actually a good idea. I really believe this is why God gave us two arms — one for the flu shot and the other one for the COVID shot,” he said at a press briefing.
But a review of seniors who received both the flu shot and Pfizer’s COVID-19 shot at the same time, presented to the FDA Thursday, showed that doing so may raise the risk of strokes.
Nevertheless, the Daily Mail notes that health officials are continuing to recommend that Americans take both injections at the same time claiming that being infected with COVID and the flu at the same time can also raise the risk of strokes.
The FDA is also currently investigating a link between the Pfizer vaccines and ischemic strokes in seniors, which would add an extra layer of risk.
The FDA and CDC announced in a joint statement earlier this month that data from the CDC’s Vaccine Safety Datalink (VSD) has flagged a “possible” connection between the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine and ischemic strokes in older people.
“Following the availability and use of the updated (bivalent) COVID-19 vaccines, CDC’s Vaccine Safety Datalink (VSD), a near real-time surveillance system, met the statistical criteria to prompt additional investigation into whether there was a safety concern for ischemic stroke in people ages 65 and older who received the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine, Bivalent,” said the agencies.
The data suggest that people 65 and older vaccinated with the Pfizer vaccine are more likely to suffer an ischemic stroke within the 21 days following the shot compared with 22-44 days following injection.
While the FDA and CDC insisted “it is very unlikely” that there is a “true clinical risk,” they also said “it is important to share this information with the public.”