Can A Flu Shot Help Against COVID-19?
Among the many other things that doctors have recommending people and the many hacks and measures that people themselves are applying to safeguard against COVID-19, is flu shots.
Doctors are now saying that the flu vaccine shot can act as a preventive shield against the soaring viral infection and decrease the risk of developing other respiratory problems like H1N1 and pneumonia, which could aggravate a person’s risk of getting COVID-19, reported Entertainment Now.
Administering flu shots is not a very common practice in India although it is done as a routine in the West, the report added.
What are flu shots?
Flu shots are vaccine doses that help prevent people from catching influenza. Annual flu shots are considered to be the best bet of defence against catching an infection. Since the virus keeps on mutating every year, people are asked to get flu shots every year. Pregnant women, infants, children, people aged 65 and above and those with pre-existing conditions are considered to be at a higher risk and thus are recommended vaccines more often than others, the report said.
COVID vs Influenza
Both COVID and Influenza are caused by a virus. Both are a type of respiratory illness. Both lead to a mild or severe form of infection and can sometimes be fatal. They also spread the same way, usually, from human to human contact.
However, unlike the everchanging COVID-19, influenza has a definite treatment and vaccine, which has been able to curb the disease from spreading, the report said.
Can flu shots protect against COVID?
Although there is no definite proof, giving flu shots, especially to those at-risk can help protect against other respiratory infections and problems which can increase the likelihood of catching COVID-19. Experts say that getting a timely flu vaccination may also help reduce other related illnesses, which have similar symptoms, the report added.
What studies prove
A study carried out in Brazil in the early months of the found that those who were given flu shots were likely to have more immunity and less likelihood of being infected with COVID.
A study published in the journal ScienceDirect also suggests that effective vaccination could build innate immunity and may even reduce the risk of respiratory complications associated with the pandemic, Entertainment Now reported.
Flu shots in India
The report suggests that increased awareness about the role of flu vaccinations will make people more aware of the dangers of flu, and ultimately, prepare them as and when a COVID-19 vaccine comes into existence. Besides, the idea of flu shots will also become common in India.
In India, the flu season is from September to February, so getting a shot right now will root out any fear in time before the infection reaches its peak, the report added.