Influenza vaccine doesn’t increase Covid-19 health risks: Study

Prashasti Awasthi Mumbai | Updated on September 22, 2020 Published on September 22, 2020

The researchers recommended taking flu vaccine shot and thus, preventing a situation of ‘twindemic’

A new study published in the Journal of Clinical and Translational Science has said that influenza vaccine does not increase the risk of contracting novel coronavirus or lead to its severity.

The authors of the study said that seasonal flu is unpredictable, and otherwise healthy people are hospitalised due to developing severe respiratory infection every year.

They recommended flu vaccine shots for such ailments. This can also prevent the situation of ‘twindemic’ in the US as the coronavirus continues to ravage the country.

The study’s lead researcher Joe Zein, a pulmonologist at Cleveland Clinic in the US, monitored more than 13,000 Covid-19 positive patients between early March and mid-April.

Also read: Covid-19 may become seasonal when herd immunity is achieved, suggest experts

They compared those who had received unadjuvanted influenza vaccines in the fall or winter of 2019 (4,138 patients) with those who did not receive the vaccine (9,082 patients).

The researchers found that influenza vaccination was not associated with increased Covid-19 incidence or disease severity. This includes risk for hospitalisation, admission to the intensive care unit, or mortality.

“Our findings suggest that we should proceed as usual with our vaccination strategy for global influenza this flu season,” said Zein in a statement.

“Getting the annual flu vaccine remains the best safeguard against the influenza virus, both for yourself and the people around you,” he added.

Also read: Covid-19 will be here forever in some form or the other: Sage Scientist

Researchers speculated that the flu vaccination can mitigate the risk of simultaneous viral infections and pandemics.

“We have already seen the stress that Covid-19 can put on our hospitals and resources,” said Zein.

“While we’re not yet sure how the flu season will affect Covid-19 susceptibility and infections, we strongly advise people to get their influenza vaccines, both for their individual health and the collective health of our care systems,” he said.

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Published on September 22, 2020
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