We live in an unusual situation created by the appearance of the global coronavirus pandemic. There is still no cure to combat Covid-19, but we can deal with it in various ways so that the effects are not so severe.
New research, carried out in the Netherlands, has shown that the flu vaccine causes a direct effect of trained immunity against SARS-CoV-2, that is, it causes protection against the coronavirus. In fact, The risk of contagion by Covid-19 is lower in people who have been vaccinated against the flu, exactly 39% lower.
There is numerous evidences that the flu and the coronavirus have very similar paths. They share from symptoms, ways of infection, and even, according to experts, a cross protection between Covid-19 and flu vaccination. But there is still much to learn from the relationship of the two diseases.
The effects of the flu vaccine ‘in vitro’ have been studied in such research. “It can induce a trained immune response, including an enhancement of cytokine responses after stimulation of human immune cells with SARS-CoV-2,” scientists using the quadrivalent flu vaccine in the Netherlands have noted.
The importance of getting a flu shot
The research also showed that Dutch hospital employees who were vaccinated against the flu during the 2019/2020 season were less prone to SARS-CoV-2 infection. Ultimately “an inactivated quadrivalent influenza vaccine can induce trained immune responses against SARS-CoV-2, which can result in relative protection against Covid-19 ″.
For this reason, it is vitally important that the majority of the population get vaccinated against influenza in this new season. This will avoid, to a large extent, the risk of contracting this global disease.
In a press conference, the Minister of Health of Spain, Salvador Illa, said after a meeting with the plenary session of the Interterritorial Council of the National Health System (CISNS), that this year has increased the flu vaccination rates by 30% compared to the 2019 campaign. There has been a large increase in the vaccinated population. Even in some territories they reach 60%. The minister wanted to thank the population for their behavior in these times.
Children having a longer vaccination schedule in their first 6 years generate a trained immunity. This immunity causes them to become more mildly infected with Covid-19. It can also be called cross immunity.
Belén Aguirrezabalaga, head of the Vaccines group of the Spanish Society of Out-of-hospital Pediatrics and Primary Care (Sepeap) explains that “the heterologous protection of vaccines has been known for a long time. They are unexpected and beneficial effects that appear without being the initial objective that was sought with the vaccines. It is something that was seen with the tuberculosis vaccine: in those places where it was given, morbidity and mortality were seen to decrease much more than what was strictly applicable to the benefits of the vaccine.