Major study finds flu jab protects against severe COVID

Scientists have found that the annual flu jab may be able to reduce severe COVID cases.

Flu jabs for COVID
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Flu jabs for COVID

An international study has found that COVID patients who have previously been inoculated with the flu vaccine are less likely to be face severe effects of the virus. Given their promising findings, scientists have revealed that the flu jab could be essential in the fight against coronavirus.

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Researchers from the University of Miami analysed data from around 75,000 COVID patients from several countries including the UK and the US. They divided the patients into two groups, one had been vaccinated against influenza at least two weeks prior to getting infected by coronavirus, while the other group had not. Some other factors they took into account while matching the groups were age, sex, ethnicity, health problems, diet, and lifestyle.

The findings

Their findings suggest that those who have had their flu shot had reduced chances of developing a stroke, deep vein thrombosis (DVT), and sepsis upon catching COVID. Furthermore, they were less likely to visit the hospital more frequently or get admitted into the intensive care unit. All in all, those who did not receive their flu jabs were 36% to 45% more likely to have sepsis, 40% more likely to develop DVT, and they had a 45% to 58% higher risk of having a stroke.

Senior author on the study and professor of clinical surgery at the University, Devinder Singh said:

We detected an association that appears to show flu vaccination offers some protection against severe Covid-19 disease.

The key to beating COVID

Scientists believe that using flu jabs with acombination of COVID jabscould be the key to beating COVID in countries where the vaccines are in short supply. However, the team has maintained that the flu jab will never be able to replace COVID vaccines. Singh added:

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.
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