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Influenza Vaccination May Have Protective Effect on COVID-19

Odds of hospitalization and ICU admission up for COVID-19-positive patients who were not vaccinated

a woman getting vaccine shot

TUESDAY, Nov. 3, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Influenza vaccination may have a protective effect for COVID-19-positive patients, according to a brief report recently published in the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine.

Ming-Jim Yang, M.D., from the University of Florida in Gainesville, and colleagues conducted a retrospective review involving 2,005 patients older than 18 years of age who tested positive for COVID-19. Influenza vaccination status and comorbidities were examined. Severity of disease as reflected by hospitalization and intensive care unit (ICU) admission was examined as the primary outcome. The association between influenza vaccination status and hospitalization was examined.

The researchers found that compared with those who were vaccinated, COVID-19-positive patients who had not received the influenza vaccine within the last year had 2.44- and 3.29-fold increased odds of hospitalization and ICU admission, respectively. The results were adjusted for age, race, gender, hypertension, diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, obesity, coronary artery disease, and congestive heart failure.

"One of the biggest problems we have with any preventive measure is getting people to do it," a coauthor said in a statement. "So, maybe this would be a pretty good push for people to go out and get their flu shot."

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