What is the relationship between influenza vaccination and Sars-Cov-2? A new study by the Monzino cardiology center reveals that in the period of the lockdown it was possible to observe an inversely proportional relationship between coverage of influenza vaccinations and the number of infections and deaths from Covid in the Italian regions. And what data in hand, a 1% increase in vaccination coverage would have made it possible to avoid 1,989 deaths from Covid 19.
“What we did was to relate the regional data on last year’s influenza vaccination rates with those on the spread of Covid in the over 65s”, explains Mauro Amato , researcher at the Monzino cardiology center and first author of the article. “A rather clear situation emerged from the results: the prevalence of Sars-Cov-2 infections, admissions to hospital with symptoms attributable to Covid, admissions to intensive care and deaths, all resulted higher in regions where vaccination had been lower ”.
A fact – explains Amato – which is also confirmed by the results of similar research carried out in countries such as Brazil. And that if for now it cannot prove a causal link between the flu vaccine and Covid, it still allows us to formulate some hypotheses. “It is known that Covid 19 in children has a lower incidence and symptoms that tend to be milder”, emphasizes Damiano Baldassare,coordinator of the study, head of the Unit for the study of morphology and arterial function of Monzino and professor of the Department of Medical Biotechnology and Translational Medicine of the University of Milan. “Among the hypotheses proposed to explain this resistance there is also the fact that in the pediatric age one is more often subjected to vaccinations of some kind: it is known that vaccines can lead to cross immunity, or better trained, even against other infectious pathologies “.
In short, vaccines do not only protect against the pathogen they are addressed to, but tend to enhance the body’s immune reactions in a generalized way. And this could help defend against Sars-Cov-2 as well, decreasing the chances of infection and reducing the severity of symptoms and complications.
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