Sat. Apr 17th, 2021

By Alan Mozes HealthDay Reporter


Monday, November 2, 2020 (HealthDay News) – Coronavirus and flu are two completely different viruses. But a new study suggests that those receiving the flu vaccine have significantly lower risk of hospitalization upon receiving COVID-19.

Researchers say the flu vaccine significantly reduces a patient’s risk of COVID-19 to end up in an intensive care unit (ICU).

The findings are based on an analysis of electronic health records for 2,000 COVID-19 patients. All had tested positive for the virus at some point between this past March and August. And just over 10% of patients were previously vaccinated for the flu.

The study’s author, Dr. “Flu and COVID-19 are actually different disease processes caused by different viruses,” said Ming-Jim Yang. “Although some symptoms may overlap between the two diseases, they have potentially different short-term and long-term consequences.”

It is also the case that “COVID-19 still has very high mortality [rate] Compared to the flu, “Yang noted. And prolonged lung, heart, and brain problems are seen in living COVID-19 patients” with the flu not as it seems, “he said.

Nevertheless, “our team looked at patients who tested positive for COVID-19 and saw that patients who received the influenza vaccine within the last year were hospitalized and admitted to the ICU Chances were slim, ”Yang said.

“COVID patients with No A flu vaccine was obtained within the previous year with a 2.4-fold higher chance of hospitalization and a 3.3-fold greater chance of transferring to the ICU, “Yang said of a third-year resident in family medicine at the Department of Community Health and Family Medicine As stated. University of Florida at Gainesville.

As a vaccine for a completely different virus could provide such protection, Yang said the jury is still out. Furthermore, the study did not prove that the flu vaccine actually reduced the risk of severe COVID-19, was simply an association.

“Unfortunately, we don’t know why the flu vaccine would have this beneficial side effect,” he said. “Our study did not specifically consider it. [But] If one looks at the available scientific studies, we can speculate that the flu vaccine may increase natural killer cell activity, a type of immune cell that has been shown to target cancer and virus-infected cells. “

The flu vaccine stimulates a patient’s immune system and fights COVID-19 more quickly and strictly otherwise, Yang said.

Making that point was the Associate Division Head of Pulmonary and Critical Care and Clinical Director at New York-Presbyterian / Weill Cornell Medical Center in New York City. Was echoed by Michael Niederman.

“Flu shots can stimulate specific antiviral immunity [to the flu], “He noted,” as well as ‘innate immunity.’ It is that latter effect that may provide additional protection against the most severe outcomes among COVID patients.

It is also the case that the flu can help maintain a patient’s immune system readiness – to avoid the flu, said Chunhui Chi, director of Oregon State University’s Center for Global Health.

“One thing we know is that flu shots are effective in preventing the flu,” Chi said. “And when a person is infected with the flu, his / her immune system will be weakened. Under such conditions, the person is more infected when infected with COVID-19, and if infected, [outcomes] Become more serious. “

Chi also stated that, “On average, people who get flu shots are people who are more alert and caring about their health. These are the same people who are more likely. [adopt] A high level of safety-hygiene practices during the epidemic, “which may mean that their future COVID-19 exposure may be” low density of virus. “

Niderman broadly agreed that those who get vaccinated against the flu are at a lower risk of getting COVID-19 already.

Niderman said, “People who get a flu shot are also the same people who are likely to follow other preventive care advice, such as wearing masks and social disturbances. This prevents COVIDs later, not the flu shots.” Stops. “

Whatever the explanation, the latest discovery offers another incentive to get a flu shot.

Yang said, “The fact that profit exists. More study will be required to see what is the mechanism behind the benefit.”

He and his colleagues reported their findings online on October 29 Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine.

Source: Ming-Jim Yang, MD, third-year resident, Department of Family Medicine, Community Health and Family Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville; Michael Niederman MD, Associate Division Head and Clinical Director, Pulmonary and Critical Care, New York-Presbyterian / Weill Cornell Medical Center, and Professor, Clinical Medicine, Weill Cornell Medical College, New York City; Chunhi Chi, SDD, MPH, Director, Center for Global Health, and Professor, Health Management and Policy, College of Public Health and Anthropology, Oregon State University; Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine, October 29, 2020, online

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