Flu vaccine could protect against COVID-19, new study finds

A recent Dutch study suggests that influenza vaccines can help the body defend itself against COVID-19. The results showed that hospital workers who received a flu shot last winter were less likely to be infected with the new coronavirus. Be careful though, the study still needs to be peer reviewed. In other words, the interpretation of the results has not yet been validated by the scientific community.

In a first phase of the study, as part of laboratory experiments in vitro, the researchers found that the latest seasonal flu vaccine could cause healthy cells to respond more effectively not only against the flu, but also against the new coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. However, the mechanism underlying such an effect remains unknown at this time.

Then, when they analyzed the rates of COVID-19 among staff at their hospital, the researchers found that the number of infections was 39% lower in people who received a flu shot. ” This data, combined with similar recent independent reports, argues for a possible beneficial effect of influenza vaccination on COVID-19 “, Say the researchers. ” This means that the flu shot could perhaps offer partial protection against both infections this winter. “.

Using an established in vitro model of immunity, we demonstrate that the quadrivalent inactivated influenza vaccine used in the Netherlands during the 2019-2020 influenza season can induce an acquired immunity response, including enhanced cytokine responses. after stimulation of human immune cells by SARS CoV-2 The researchers write in the document.

The report was published on medRxiv earlier this month, but still needs to be peer reviewed. ” We thought it was important to publish these results now, as the flu shot is already being made available to a large group of people. Study leader Mihai Netea of ​​Radboud University Medical Center said in a press release.


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