Influenza vaccines can protect you against some severe problems caused by Covid: Study

WION Web Team
London, United KingdomUpdated: Jul 12, 2021, 06:33 PM IST

Representative image Photograph:(Reuters)

Story highlights

As per a new study, people who are vaccinated against flu have fewer chances of being admitted to ICU and emergency rooms, and are also protected against some problems caused by coronavirus

People who have been vaccinated against influenza may be partly protected against some severe effects of coronavirus, a new study has revealed.

After analysing 75,000 Covid patients, researchers observed reductions in stroke, deep vain thrombosis (DVT), and sepsis. In addition to this, people who have been vaccinated against influenza had rare chances of being rushed to the emergency and Intensive Care Units (ICU).

When a person is vaccinated against the flu, the jab provides them some protection against COVID-19 as it helps boost the innate immune system.

Another possible reason behind this may be that the patients who have had flu jab may be in better health than those who were unvaccinated.

"We detected an association that appears to show flu vaccination offers some protection against severe COVID-19 disease," said Devinder Singh, a senior author on the study and professor of clinical surgery at the University of Miami.

This study has come as a piece of good news for the third-world countries that are struggling to procure and inoculate Covid vaccinations. These countries are also prone to an incoming flu season.

However, scientists have also stressed that their findings in no way suggest flu vaccines as a substitute to Covid jabs. "It’s very important to emphasise that we absolutely recommend the Covid-19 vaccine, and in no way suggest the flu vaccine is a substitute to the proper Covid-19 vaccine," Singh said.

As per the study, the flu vaccine is able to reduce the risk of only a few problems caused by the coronavirus. Covid patients who were not vaccinated against the flu have 45 to 58 per cent more chances of having a stroke, 40 per cent chances of developing DVT, and are 36 to 45 per cent more likely to have sepsis. Unvaccinated people are also more at risk of getting admitted to an ICU.

"It could be that the flu vaccine stimulates the immune system non-specifically and has that benefit, but you always wonder whether these associations are causal, or whether there’s a common factor, like social deprivation which might explain why they go hand in hand," said Prof Peter Openshaw, a member of the government’s New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group (Nervtag). "People who manage to get a flu vaccine may have better health in other ways."

"The best way to protect yourself from Covid is to get a Covid vaccine," he added.