Getting COVID-19 and influenza vaccines at the same time led to higher risk of stroke, researchers find.

Some people who received a COVID-19 vaccine were at higher risk of stroke but an analysis found that the risk was connected to influenza vaccination, U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) researchers said in a new study.

The researchers, analyzing data from Medicare, detected an elevated stroke risk among the elderly following receipt of a bivalent COVID-19 vaccine made by Pfizer and Moderna and available from the fall of 2022 to the fall of 2023. There was an elevated risk of nonhemorrhagic stroke or transient ischemic attack in people 85 or older following Pfizer vaccination and people aged 65 to 74 following Moderna vaccination, the researchers found.

But the researchers then looked at which people received an influenza shot at the same time as a COVID-19 shot and saw that the elevated risk only persisted among people who received the vaccines concomitantly.

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