Children who receive flu vaccine less likely to develop Covid-19 symptoms: Study

Prashasti Awasthi Mumbai | Updated on February 05, 2021

Also found that children with Covid-19 who received the pneumococcal vaccine had lower odds of experiencing the symptomatic disease

Researchers from the University of Missouri School of Medicine have found that children who receive influenza flu shots are less likely to suffer from Covid-19 infection symptoms.

For the study, the researchers reviewed more than 900 children diagnosed with Covid-19 in 2020.

“It is known that the growth of one virus can be inhibited by a previous viral infection,” said Anjali Patwardhan, MD, professor of paediatric rheumatology and child health.

Also read: ‘Viral load’ is main determinant of Covid-19 transmission risk: Study

She added: “This phenomenon is called virus interference, and it can occur even when the first virus invader is an inactivated virus, such as the case with the flu vaccine.”

Patwardhan and her team reviewed records of 905 paediatric patients diagnosed with Covid-19 between February and August 2020 to determine each patient’s influenza vaccination history.

The researchers noted that Covid-19 positive children who received the influenza vaccine in the current flu season had lower odds of experiencing symptoms, respiratory problems or severe disease.

She also found that children with Covid-19 who received the pneumococcal vaccine had lower odds of experiencing the symptomatic disease.

“Research on the paediatric population is critical because children play a significant role in influencing viral transmission,” Patwardhan said.

“Understanding the relationship and co-existence of other viruses alongside Covid-19 and knowing the vaccination status of the paediatric patient may help in deploying the right strategies to get the best outcomes,” she added.

Also read: ‘One in five Indians exposed to Covid virus’

Patwardhan said it will also be pivotal to explore the link between vaccinations and Covid-19 symptoms in a larger geographical-multiracial study.

“Based on these findings, we hypothesise that the higher incidence of Covid-19 in minority populations may also reflect their low vaccination rate, apart from other health inequalities,” Patwardhan said.

The findings of the study were published in the journal EurekAlert!.

Published on February 05, 2021

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