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Patients who have received an annual Influenza vaccine were found to have lower odds of testing positive for COVID-19 according to a recent study published in the American Journal of Infection Control.

SUBURB in conversation with Dr Nehal Shah Vora, General Physician with 26 years of experience. She elucidates usage of flu vaccine, particularly during the current Covid times.

Dr Nehal Shah Vora

The key highlights of the recent study published in the American Journal of Infection Control include:  

  • With vaccines against COVID-19 not yet broadly available, there is interest in assessing the role of the influenza vaccine in COVID-19 susceptibility and severity.
  • Vaccinated patients testing positive for COVID-19 were less likely to require hospitalization or mechanical ventilation and had a shorter hospital length of stay.
  • The influenza vaccine is believed to reduce the burden of COVID-19 on patients.

Talking about other benefits of the flu vaccine Dr Vora adds:

  1. Flu vaccine has been shown to reduce the risk of having to go to the doctor with flu by 40 per cent to 60 per cent.
  2. Flu vaccination has been associated with lower rates of Cardiac events among people with heart disease, especially among those who had had a cardiac event in the past year.
  3. Flu vaccination can reduce worsening and hospitalization for flu-related chronic lung disease, such as in persons with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease.
  4. Flu vaccination also is associated with reduced hospitalizations among people with Diabetes.
  5. Flu vaccination helps protect women during and after pregnancy and also protects the baby from flu for several months after birth, when they are not old enough to be vaccinated.

People at higher risk from flu are relatively more susceptible to getting infected by COVID19.

With schools opening and children not vaccinated against Covid19, the flu vaccine seems to reduce the odds of children getting infected with Covid-19 and also reduces severe illness hospitalisation and mortality.

Who can take the vaccination shot?

All people six months of age and older are recommended for annual vaccination, with the rare exception of those with severe egg allergy and those who have Guillain Barre Syndrome.

When to take the shot? 

A single dose of the flu vaccination annually is recommended before the flu season. Now is a good time to get your flu vaccination shot. Ask your doctor for more details.

Some brands available in India of the Quadrivalent Flu vaccine:

  1. Influvac Tetra 2021-22
  2. FluQuadri 2021
  3. Fluarix Tetra 2021
  4. VaxiFlu -4 

 Efficacy of the vaccine?

Flu vaccines will not prevent COVID-19, but they will reduce the burden of flu illnesses, hospitalizations and deaths on the health care system and conserve the scarce medical resources for the care of the serious Covid 19 patients.

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