Flu Vaccine During Covid 19 Pandemic

By Dr. R.S.Mishra in Internal Medicine

Nov 07 , 2020 | 1 min read

Flu is a global public health problem and concern especially in high risk people. Fortunately, it is a preventable disease and prevention plays a key role in avoiding complications of flu related illnesses. Despite the existing prevalence of flu, and documented importance of vaccination, the uptake of flu vaccine is very poor in our country. Flu vaccine is highly recommended to all high risk people especially during this current covid pandemic.

Flu vaccination will be very important to reduce flu because it can help reduce the overall impact of respiratory illnesses on the population and so reduce the resulting burden on the healthcare system during the COVID-19 pandemic. It will also provide some individual health benefits including keeping people from getting sick with flu, reducing the severity of illness if someone do get flu and reducing the risk of a flu-associated hospitalization. As far as protection from covid 19 infection is concern It has been seen that Flu shot may protect from getting a severe COVID-19 infection by improving innate immunity. Presently there are at least three studies which have indicated that a flu shot provides some protection against severe Covid 19 infection. One of these studies conducted in Italy indicated that areas in which more people took a flu vaccine had a lower death rate from COVID-19. The study suggested that the flu vaccine may train the immune system of a person to quickly recognise and clear away any harmful organisms invading the lungs. In another study on the elderly population in the US found that even a 10 percent increase in the flu vaccine coverage in an area can reduce the COVID-19 mortality rate in the area by 28 percent. Third study which was done in Brazil it has found that a flu shot can reduce mortality by 20 percent when taken before the onset of COVID-19 and about 27 percent when the vaccine was given after the onset of COVID-19.

So it is clear that flu vaccine may not give direct protection for covid 19 infections the way it protects from flu but it has a very important indirect effect on covid 19 protection.

Written and Verified by: