The good news is for those who have been vaccinated against the flu this year, despite the fact that influenza viruses have probably disappeared due to protective measures against the coronavirus……
Observing the decrease in influenza cases during the COVID-19 pandemic, Scientists wonder if flu vaccine affects susceptibility to COVID-19 infection and severity of infection.
Risk factors for COVID-19 infection have been described including cardiovascular disease, diabetes mellitus, and obesity. The same factors are associated with serious complications from the flu, therefore vaccination is recommended in these population groups.
With this in mind, a retrospective study was organized in 4,5 Millions of patients vaccinated in Michigan against the flu, between his August 2019 and in July 2020, to study the association between a positive COVID-19 test and previous influenza vaccination.
The Doctors of the Therapeutic Clinic of the Medical School of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Theodora Psaltopoulou, Panos Malandrakis, Giannis Danasis, and Thanos Dimopoulos [Rector of EKPA] summarize the data as published.
The clinical features of the infection were also studied in those patients who tested positive, such as the need for hospitalization, hospitalization in an intensive care unit, mechanical ventilation support and mortality in general.
Totally checked 27202 patients for COVID-19, of which 1218 (4,5%) were positive and 12997 (47,8%) had been vaccinated against the flu. Among the positive patients, the 505 (41,5%) needed hospitalization and 182 (36%) they needed mechanical ventilation.
Patients who tested positive had higher rates of comorbidity, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (19,8% against 14,6%), diabetes (8,5% against 2,9%) and hypertension (36% against 22,5%).
In patients who have been vaccinated for influenza, there was a significant reduction in the likelihood of being found positive for the SARS-CoV-2 virus (odds ratio OR=0.82, 95% Cl 0.73-0.92, p<0.01).
in addition to, were less likely to need hospitalization (OR=0.58), or mechanical breathing assistance (OR=0.45), and had a shorter hospital stay (OR=0.76).
Based on these data, The authors argue that influenza vaccination plays a protective role in COVID-19 infection., but due to the retrospective nature of the data they cannot confirm a correlation.
Thus they concluded that until mass vaccination for COVID-19 becomes available, Influenza vaccination should be promoted.