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COLUMBUS, Ohio — As the colder weather approaches and time outside is limited, experts warn of a flu season skipped a season during the pandemic. Studies now show the annual influenza vaccination may help more than fend off this year’s strain.
The American Journal of Infection Control says patients who received a flu shot were found to have 24% lower odds of testing positive for COVID-19. This was the first study to explore the association between influenza vaccines and coronavirus.
Dr. Anup Kanodia of KanodiaMD and OhioHealth says the vaccine helps your body with trained immunity.
“When a vaccine is boosting up the immune system to fight one thing, like the flu, is also trained to fight other things that may come in contact with, whether it’s COVID or other things,” said Kanodia. “There’s research that’s out there that says if someone was given the tuberculosis vaccine, it also helps against yellow fever and malaria.”
A second study published in the journal Plos One looked into electronic medical records for more than 73-million people with their identities withheld. It created two cohorts totaling more than 74,000 people. Those who received an influenza vaccine 30, 60, 90, and 120 days before being covid-positive showed less risk of sepsis, stroke, DVT, emergency department, and ICU visits.
Kanodia says he is recommending the flu vaccine, especially to families whose children may not be eligible to get a COVID-19 vaccination.
“Every day I hear in my office, what else can I do to lower my risk, lower my kid’s risk, especially since kids haven’t gotten the vaccine or anything like that?” said Kanodia. “That’s just another thing that they can do on top of mask and social distancing.”
Both studies recommend more research on the correlation.
For more on a webinar from Dr. Kanodia on COVID-19: Delta Variant, Back to School, Vaccines, Booster and More, click here.
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