UF Health Study Shows Flu Vaccination Might Confer Protection Against Severe COVID-19 (UF Health Newsroom)

UF Health Study Shows Flu Vaccination Might Confer Protection Against Severe COVID-19

A flu vaccination might do more than protect against influenza. It might also shield some people from a severe case of COVID-19 — even though the infection is caused by an entirely different virus.

People who received a flu vaccination in the year before testing positive for the novel coronavirus were nearly two-and-a-half times less likely to be hospitalized for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, than those who were unvaccinated, an analysis of patient data by University of Florida Health researchers has found.

And those with a flu vaccination were more than three times less likely to be admitted to an intensive care unit. The effect could be the result of a general priming of the immune system that boosts the body’s readiness to attack, no matter the invader.

“This would actually be a pretty easy way of keeping some people out of the hospital and out of the ICU,” said Arch G. Mainous III, Ph.D., the study’s senior author and a professor in the department of health services research, management and policy at the UF College of Public Health and Health Professions.

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