Flu vaccine may lessen Covid symptoms in children

February 5, (Agencies) | Publish Date: 2/5/2021 1:30:05 PM IST

 Children who receive a seasonal flu shot are less likely to suffer symptoms from a Covid-19 infection, researchers say.

The findings suggest that Covid-19 positive children who received the influenza vaccine in the current flu season had lower odds of experiencing symptoms, respiratory problems or severe disease.

“It is known that the growth of one virus can be inhibited by a previous viral infection,” said researcher Anjali Patwardhan, Professor at the University of Missouri in the US.

“This phenomenon is called virus interference, and it can occur even when the first virus invader is an inactivated virus, such as the case with the flu vaccine,” Patwardhan added.

For the study, published in the journal Cureus, the researchers reviewed records from 905 paediatric patients diagnosed with Covid-19 to determine each patient’s influenza vaccination history. The team found that children with Covid-19 who received the pneumococcal vaccine also had lower odds of experiencing symptomatic disease.

“Research on the paediatric population is critical because children play a significant role in influencing viral transmission,” Patwardhan said.

“Understanding the relationship and co-existence of other viruses alongside Covid-19 and knowing the vaccination status of the paediatric patient may help in deploying the right strategies to get the best outcomes,” Patwardhan added.  Patwardhan said it will also be important to explore the connection between vaccinations and Covid-19 symptoms in a larger geographical-multiracial study. 


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