Concurrent Zoster, Flu Vaccines Tied to Lower Subsequent Flu Vaccine Uptake

Patients may misattribute adverse effects commonly caused by the zoster vaccine to the influenza vaccine

Concurrent Zoster, Flu Vaccines Tied to Lower Subsequent Flu Vaccine Uptake
Adobe Stock

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 1, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- Concurrent administration of influenza and zoster vaccines is associated with a reduction in receipt of the influenza vaccine the following year, according to a study published online Nov. 19 in JAMA Network Open.

Benjamin N. Rome, M.D., M.P.H., from Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, and colleagues used national claims data from patients with commercial insurance and Medicare Advantage plans to assess whether concurrent administration of the influenza and zoster vaccines (between Aug. 1, 2018, and March 31, 2019) was associated with a reduced likelihood of influenza vaccination in the subsequent year.

The researchers found that among 89,237 individuals included in the study, influenza vaccine uptake in the subsequent year (2019 to 2020) was lower among the 27,161 individuals who received concurrent influenza and zoster vaccines versus the 62,076 individuals who received the vaccines on separate days (87.3 versus 91.3 percent; adjusted odds ratio, 0.74). Across subgroups, results were similar.

"One possible explanation is that some patients could have misattributed systemic side effects caused by the zoster vaccine to the influenza vaccine," the authors write. "It may be preferable to administer these two vaccines separately or enhance patient counseling about expected vaccine side effects."

Several authors disclosed receiving personal fees from various medical organizations.

Abstract/Full Text

Physician's Briefing