Influenza vaccine could protect against severe COVID-19

October 5, 2021
Influenza vaccine could protect against severe COVID-19

Researchers from the University of Miami Milles School of Medicine in Florida, US, postulate a possible protective effect of the influenza (flu) vaccine against the novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2. A recent study by the University found an 8% drop in hospitalisation in COVID-19 positive patients who received the flu vaccine. These patients were also noted to have experienced a decreased risk of sepsis and stroke.

The research explored about 75,000 digital media files of patients worldwide, focused on the period before the rollout of the coronavirus vaccines – the researchers were ultimately looking for a correlation between the flu vaccine among those who fell ill from the coronavirus.

The findings showed a statistical link between the risk of developing COVID-19 symptoms and non-vaccination against the flu: “Patients who have already received SARS-CoV-2 vaccination may stand to benefit given that the SARS-CoV-2 vaccine does not convey complete immunity, although further research into the relationship and potential interaction between influenza vaccination and SARS-CoV-2 vaccination should be performed,” the researchers said.

In addition, researchers mentioned that there is still significant distribution inequality among demographics when it comes to the flu vaccine and are now looking into the possible benefits of a more comprehensive influenza vaccination programme.

Read: Universal flu vaccine that protects against 6 influenza viruses tested in mice

Influenza and COVID-19 are both contagious respiratory illnesses but are caused by different viruses. While COVID-19 is caused by infection with the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, seasonal flu is caused by infection with one of the many influenza viruses that spread annually.

Although an influenza infection kills much less people than the novel coronavirus, testing for both viruses is highly recommended, as symptoms may be similar and easily overlooked without testing.

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Category: Education, Features

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