Te Whanganui-a-Tara – The flu vaccine may provide vital protection against covid, according to an amazing landmark newly published study, just released by the University of Miami.
This was the largest study of its kind and analysed de-identified patient records from around the world, which strongly suggested that the annual flu shot reduces the risks of stroke, sepsis, and deep vein thrombosis in patients with covid.
Patients with covid who had been vaccinated against the flu were also significantly less likely to visit the emergency department and be admitted to the intensive care unit.
Only a small fraction of the world has been fully vaccinated against covid to date, and with all the devastation that has occurred due to the pandemic, the global community still needs to find solutions to reduce morbidity and mortality.
The University of Miami said having access to the real-time data of millions of patients was an incredibly powerful research tool. The researchers were able observe an association between the flu vaccine and reduced morbidity in covid patients.
The study was conducted using patient records from a number of countries, including the US, the UK, Germany, Italy, Israel and Singapore.
The research found those who had not had the flu shot were significantly more likely to have been admitted to the ICU.
The investigators were also able to calculate how many covid-positive patients would need to receive an influenza vaccine to avoid one adverse outcome.
Although it isn’t exactly known yet how the flu vaccine provides protection against covid, most theories speculate that the flu shot may boost the innate immune system and support general defences people are born with that do not protect against any one specific illness.
The results strongly suggest that the flu vaccine may protect against several severe effects of covid.
However, the Miami team strongly recommend that people receive covid vaccines as well their annual influenza vaccine.
The flu shot could be used to help provide increased protection in countries where the covid vaccine is in short supply or even aid in the ongoing struggle against breakthrough cases in those individuals already vaccinated against disease.
Continued promotion of the influenza vaccine also has the potential to help the global population avoid a possible twindemic – a simultaneous outbreak of influenza and coronavirus.
The researchers said by being able to conserve global health care resources by keeping the number of influenza cases under control is reason enough to champion continued efforts to promote influenza vaccination worldwide.