COVID-19: Influenza Vaccine May Provide Protection
Influenza vaccination can provide important protection against COVID-19, according to new research recently presented at the European Congress of Clinical Microbiology & Infectious Diseases (ECCMID), which is taking place online this year.
According to a report from the European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases published on the Internet portal “medicalxpress.com”, an analysis of data from around the world strongly suggests that the annual flu vaccination increases the risk of stroke, sepsis and thrombosis in patients infection with the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 lowers. People with COVID-19 who were vaccinated against the flu also went to the emergency room less often and were taken to an intensive care unit less often.
Protection against COVID-19
Immunizing the world against COVID-19 is a daunting challenge, and although the production and distribution of vaccines is increasing daily, some countries are not expected to vaccinate large numbers of their populations until early 2023.
Recently, several studies suggested that the flu vaccine reduced the risk of COVID-19 infection – which means it could be a valuable weapon in the fight against the pandemic.
Data from all over the world
Susan Taghioff of the Miller School of Medicine at the University of Miami, Miami, USA, and her colleagues performed a retrospective analysis of data from tens of thousands of patients from around the world to find out more about possible protection.
In the largest study of its kind, the research team analyzed the disease progression and health data of over 70 million people. To do this, the scientists used the TriNetX database, in which anonymous electronic patient files from numerous countries are stored.
The researchers looked for people with COVID-19 and filtered them
according to their risk of serious illnesses including age, gender, ethnicity, smoking and health problems such as diabetes, obesity and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
According to these criteria, a total of more than 37,000 people with a corona infection were recorded and then divided into two groups. The study group had been vaccinated against flu for at least two weeks and a maximum of six months before the COVID-19 diagnosis, the control group not.
The study was carried out with patients from countries such as the USA, Great Britain, Germany, Italy, Israel and Singapore.
Significantly fewer complications
The researchers compared the incidence of 15 complications (sepsis, stroke, deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, acute respiratory failure, acute respiratory distress syndrome, joint pain, kidney failure, anorexia, myocardial infarction, pneumonia, emergency room, hospital admission, intensive care unit admission and death) within 120 days a positive test for SARS-CoV-2 between the two groups.
The analysis found that those who did not have the flu shot were significantly more likely (up to 20 percent more likely) to be admitted to the intensive care unit.
They also visited the emergency room significantly more often (up to 58 percent more likely), developed sepsis (up to 45 percent more often), a stroke (up to 58 percent more often), and thrombosis (up to 40 percent more likely). The risk of death was not reduced.
Only a few have been fully vaccinated so far
According to the study authors, their results strongly suggest that the flu vaccine protects against several severe effects of COVID-19. But they add that more research is needed to prove and better understand the possible link.
In the future, flu vaccination could help provide better protection in countries where COVID-19 vaccines are scarce.
“Only a small fraction of the world has been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 so far,” explains Dr. Devinder Singh, lead study author and professor of plastic surgery at the Miller School of Medicine, University of Miami. The world community must find solutions to reduce morbidity and mortality.
“Having access to real-time data from millions of patients is a powerful research tool. Along with asking important questions, it enabled my team to see a link between the flu vaccine and lower morbidity in COVID-19 patients, ”said the expert.
“This finding is particularly significant because the pandemic is draining resources in many parts of the world. Hence, our research – if validated by prospective randomized clinical trials – has the potential to reduce the global burden of disease. “
No substitute for corona vaccination
Ms. Taghioff added that the flu shot can also benefit people who are reluctant to get vaccinated because of the novelty of the vaccines. “Nevertheless, the flu vaccine is not a substitute for the COVID-19 vaccine and we are committed to ensuring that everyone receives their COVID-19 vaccine, if possible,” said the scientist.
“The continued promotion of the flu vaccine also has the potential to help the world’s population avoid possible ‘twilight’ – a simultaneous outbreak of influenza and coronavirus,” says Taghioff.
“Regardless of the level of protection the flu vaccine offers against the negative effects of COVID-19, it is possible to conserve global health resources by keeping the number of flu cases under control, which is reason enough for further efforts to promote the Use flu vaccination. “(Ad)
Author and source information
This text complies with the requirements of specialist medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical professionals.
- European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases: Flu jab protects against some of the severe effects of COVID-19, including ICU admissions, sepsis and strokes, in: medicalxpress.com, (Abruf: 13.07.2021), medicalxpress.com
This article is for general guidance only and is not intended to be used for self-diagnosis or self-treatment. He can not substitute a visit at the doctor.