Flu Vaccine Associated with Lower COVID-19 Likelihood, Hospitalizations

Another plus for flu prevention: people who received their flu vaccine were less likely to test positive for COVID-19. If they were infected with the virus, they were less likely to need hospitalization, mechanical ventilation or a longer hospital stay. This retrospective study published in the American Journal of Infection Control included more than 27,000 patients in the Michigan Medicine health care system who were tested for COVID-19 from February to July 2020. The researchers suggest that the better outcomes in the flu-vaccinated group could be due to the vaccine’s possible heterologous immune effects, but more research is needed to understand behavioral and sociodemographic differences in those who get the flu vaccine. Still, they conclude, “Until the COVID-19 vaccine becomes widely available, the influenza vaccine should be promoted to reduce the burden of disease during this pandemic.” More

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