Flu Jab protects against severe effects of Covid
According to a detailed analysis of nearly 75,000 covid-19 patients around the world, people vaccinated against influenza might be partially protected against several effects of Covid-19. The study shows that animal flu shots have the ability to reduce the risk of stroke, sepsis, or DVT in Covid-19 patients.
Covid-19 patients vaccinated with the flu were less likely to be admitted in the ICU, the researchers said.” This finding is particularly important as the pandemic is straining the resources in all parts of the world”, said Devinder Singh, a professor at a medical school in the US.
Therefore, our research — if validated by the prospective clinical trials — has the potential to reduce the burden of this disease,” Singh, the senior author of the study said.
In this kind of largest study, the researchers screened electronic health records held on the TriNetX database of over 7 crore patients to identify two groups of 37,377 patients.
These groups were matched for the factors that could affect the risk of Covid-19, including gender, age, smoking habits or health problems such as diabetes, obesity etc.
Members of group-1 received the flu vaccine between two weeks and six months before they were diagnosed with Covid-19. Those in group-2 also had covid-19 but were not vaccinated against the flu.
Patients from countries including the US, UK, Germany, Israel, Singapore were involved in the study. The research was presented at ECCMID, Europe and held online.
The incidence of 15 adverse outcomes within 120 days of testing Covid-19 positive was then compared between the two groups.
The analysis showed that those not vaccinated with flu were 20% more likely to be admitted to the ICU. They are also up to 58% more likely to visit the Emergency Dept., 45% more prone to sepsis, 58% prone to stroke and 40% to have DVT. The death risk was not reduced, said the researchers.
However, the researchers have yet to find out how the Flu Jab provides protection against the Covid-19.
The most common theory is the influenza vaccine boosting the immune system as the general defence in our body is not tailored for any particular diseases. They also noted that more research is needed to understand the possible link, but in the future, flu shots could be helpful in countries where vaccines are in short supply.
“Influenza vaccine may also be beneficial to the individuals who are hesitant to receive the Covid-19 vaccine due to the newness of the technology,” said Susan Taghioff, of the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.
She also said that despite all this, the flu vaccine is not at all a replacement for a covid-19 vaccine, so they request everyone to get vaccinated as soon as possible.