Study Finds Flu Shots Protect Against Some Severe COVID-19 Symptoms

The flu vaccine could present some safety in opposition to extreme signs of COVID-19, with a brand new examine discovering decrease intensive care unit (ICU) admissions, sepsis, and stroke charges.

An evaluation of affected person information offered on the European Congress of Scientific Microbiology & Infectious Illnesses discovered that the annual flu shot reduces the chance of stroke, sepsis, and deep vein thrombosis (DVT) in sufferers with COVID-19. People with COVID-19 who had been vaccinated in opposition to the flu have been additionally much less prone to go to emergency departments (ED) and to be admitted to the ICU.

A number of research have discovered related outcomes, though that is the most important examine of its sort, in response to the authors. The analysis workforce screened de-identified digital well being data of greater than 70 million sufferers worldwide and recognized 2 teams of 37,377 sufferers.

“Gaining access to real-time information of thousands and thousands of sufferers is a strong analysis device,” stated Devinder Singh, MD, senior writer of the examine, in a press launch. “Along with asking essential questions, it has allowed my workforce to watch an affiliation between the flu vaccine and decrease morbidity in COVID-19 sufferers.”

The two teams have been matched for elements that would influence their danger of extreme COVID-19, together with age, gender, ethnicity, smoking, and well being issues similar to diabetes, weight problems, and power obstructive pulmonary illness. Members within the first group had obtained the flu vaccine between 2 weeks and 6 months earlier than being recognized with COVID-19. These within the second group additionally had COVID-19 however had not obtained flu vaccines.

Researchers analyzed the incidence of 15 adversarial occasions (AEs): sepsis; stroke; DVT; pulmonary embolism; acute respiratory failure; acute respiratory misery syndrome; arthralgia or joint ache; renal failure; anorexia; coronary heart assault; pneumonia; ED visits; hospital admission; ICU admission; and loss of life. Charges of those AEs inside 120 days of testing optimistic for COVID-19 have been in contrast between the two teams.

In response to the examine, those that had not had a flu shot have been as much as 20% extra prone to have been admitted to the ICU. They have been additionally as much as 58% extra prone to go to the ED, as much as 45% extra prone to develop sepsis, as much as 58% extra prone to have a stroke, and as much as 40% extra prone to have DVT. The danger of loss of life was the identical throughout each teams.

Though the researchers stated they have no idea precisely how the flu vaccine protects in opposition to these COVID-19 impacts, most theories imagine it boosts the innate immune system, together with basic defenses that aren’t tailor-made to any particular sickness. Nevertheless, they stated extra analysis is required to higher perceive the potential hyperlink.

These findings might be essential for areas which have struggled to vaccinate individuals in opposition to COVID-19, and in international locations that haven’t but obtained doses of the vaccines. Though manufacturing and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines improve each day, the examine authors stated some international locations usually are not anticipated to vaccinate giant numbers of their populations till the start of 2023, regardless of the confirmed significance of immunizations. Providing flu vaccines may assist present elevated safety, in response to the examine.

The findings is also vital for people hesitant to obtain COVID-19 vaccines, in response to researcher Susan Taghioff.

“Regardless of this, the influenza vaccine is not at all a substitute for the COVID-19 vaccine, and we advocate for everybody to obtain their COVID-19 vaccine if capable of,” Taghioff stated within the press launch.


Flu jab protects in opposition to a number of the extreme results of COVID-19, together with. EurekAlert. July 11, 2021. Accessed July 12, 2021.


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