Flu jabs may lead to lower risk of severe COVID-19 illness
According to a report in PLoS One, having your yearly flu jab may lower the risk of serious illness from Covid19. This includes developing life-threatening conditions such as sepsis infections and strokes.
As published and reported in the PLoS One Journal in early August, several recent single centre studies have suggested a protective effect of the flu jab again Covid-19. The study in question uses an Electronic Medical Record network (EMR) that is continuously updated to assess the potential positive benefits of the flu jab on lessening critical effects of patients who tested positive for Covid-19 from 56 healthcare organisations.
Flu jabs reduced the risk of admission to intensive care, sepsis, and stroke
Out of millions of patients screened, two cohorts of nearly 38,000 patients (total sample of 75,000) were created using Common Procedural Terminology (CPT) and logical observation identifiers and codes (also known as LOINC). One cohort had received the most recently available flu jab, whilst the other had not, between six months and two weeks prior to being diagnosed with Covid19.
Detrimental outcomes were compared between cohorts 30, 60, 90, and 120 days of the positive Covid-19 diagnosis which were assessed based on propensity score matching (a statistical analysis of observational data that attempts to estimate the effects of policy, treatments, and other interventions) including age, gender, race, ethnicity, diabetes, obesity, hypertension, heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and lifestyle such as smoking.
The findings showed that patients who tested positive for Covid-19 who had received the flu jab had a lower risk for admissions to intensive care, sepsis, and stroke. They also had fewer cases of deep venous thrombosis and fewer A&E visits 90–120 days after their diagnosis.
More studies are needed
However, the authors did warn that such studies are unable to prove the direct correlation that flu vaccinations caused positive outcomes, or how they might have done so. Stronger and larger studies are encouraged to take place to help validate these findings and determine if the higher emphasis on flu jabs will improve adverse outcomes in patients who test positive for Covid-19.
Testing for COVID-19 Vaccine Immune Response
Nothing beats the COVID-19 vaccine for protection against serious illness, however. If you’ve had your vaccinations and want to check your antibody count and the presence of T-cells, we can help. Call us or book online.