Sunday, September 20, 2020
Home Africa Can the Flu Shot Help Protect Against COVID-19? The Answer May Surprise...

Can the Flu Shot Help Protect Against COVID-19? The Answer May Surprise You – Yahoo Lifestyle


As you’re scheduling your annual flu shot this year, you may find yourself wondering if the vaccine can kill two birds with one stone – by preventing the flu, while at the same time delivering some level of protection against the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Let’s just say the answer is yes and no.

“The flu vaccine does not prevent COVID-19,” David Cutler, MD, a family medicine physician at Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, CA, told POPSUGAR. However, there’s reason to believe that people being vaccinated could make this flu season – which will likely be coupled with rising cases of COVID-19 – a lot less severe, easing the strain on the healthcare system.

How the Flu Shot Can Help During the COVID-19 Pandemic

As Natasha Bhuyan, MD, a board-certified family physician and regional director at One Medical, explained in an earlier interview, there is some preliminary evidence that getting the flu shot may help reduce the severity of COVID-19. In a study of nearly 100,000 patients in Brazil, “people who received a recent flu shot were on average eight percent less likely to need [intensive care] treatment for COVID-19,” Dr. Bhuyan said.

Early research isn’t conclusive, and the reasons the flu shot may (or may not) help protect people against COVID-19 aren’t immediately clear. “We could be seeing ‘bystander immunity,’ where our bodies nonspecifically enhance our response to other viruses after getting the flu vaccine. That’s because our innate immune cells will defend the body against multiple pathogens, including those not targeted by the flu vaccine itself,” she explained. “And there could also be cross-reactivity in the flu vaccine to the COVID-19 virus.”

But even if it offers no protection from the novel coronavirus, “there are at least three ways the flu vaccine can help in the COVID-19 pandemic,” Dr. Cutler said.

  • Getting vaccinated can help prevent the flu from being confused with COVID-19. “You will be less likely to get flu symptoms like fever, cough, and body aches,” he said. “These symptoms could be suspicious for COVID-19 and keep you out of work or isolated at home even if testing is negative because of the risk of a ‘false negative’ test.”

  • You’ll be less likely to contract two viral infections at once. “You reduce the risk of getting simultaneous flu and COVID-19 infections, which could be significantly worse than either alone,” Dr. Cutler told POPSUGAR.

  • You won’t have to worry as much about spreading COVID-19 to others. “If you had asymptomatic or minimally symptomatic COVID-19 – which is what most people get – you would be less likely to spread it when coughing from the flu.”

So, if you weren’t convinced yet that getting a flu shot this year is in everyone’s best interest, hopefully you are now. Remember too that “the most important way you can prevent COVID-19, and at the same time also prevent flu, is to wear a mask and socially distance,” Dr. Cutler said. You heard him.

Read More



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisment -

Most Popular

Real begin with rivals Barca in turmoil

Zinedine Zidane is in his second spell as Real Madrid manager, while Ronald Koeman took over at Barcelona during the summerChampions Real Madrid kick off their new campaign on Sunday with a trip to Real Sociedad and, with Barcelona in disarray, Zinedine Zidane's men are odds-on favourites to retain the title.But the big two are…

Where will Jota fit in at Liverpool?

Portugal forward Diogo Jota has signed a five-year deal with LiverpoolIt was a transfer that came virtually from nowhere.Just days after the rumours first started to surface, Liverpool have added to their attacking options with the signing of Diogo Jota from Wolverhampton Wanderers in a deal worth up to £45m.With Liverpool already boasting one of…

‘Stakes sky high for Mourinho in Bale deal’

Jose Mourinho's handling of his players has been visible for all to see in Amazon Prime's 'All or Nothing' documentaryJose Mourinho has turned the clock back in an attempt to get his Tottenham Hotspur tenure moving into the future with Gareth Bale returning to the club he left in 2013.This is a crucial moment in…

Bexar County, San Antonio report 173 new COVID-19 cases – KSAT San Antonio

Sign up for our NewslettersLatest News10 less people in ICU; no new deaths reportedFILE - In this Aug. 14, 2020, file photo, medical personnel administer COVID-19 testing at a drive-thru site in San Antonio. The number of Americans newly diagnosed with the coronavirus is falling a development experts credit at least partly to increased wearing…