A new study released this month suggests that a flu vaccine may have reduced the risk of COVID-19 among Dutch hospital workers.
New research came out this month that suggests flu vaccines lower your risk of catching COVID-19. The study involved healthcare workers in the Netherlands. Moreover, the results support earlier studies showing flu vaccines could protect you against COVID-19.
Flu Vaccines vs. COVID-19
Scientists from the Netherlands and Germany released their findings on medRxiv in mid-October. Their paper said that they studied theories that a particular flu vaccine could reduce the risk of COVID-19. According to them, the US also uses this vaccine against the flu every year.
Gizmodo says that the theory suggests that vaccines boost your immune system in general. They don’t just train your body to fight against a specific germ. According to scientists, this boost is “trained immunity.”
The scientists found that the flu vaccine trained immune cells to respond to COVID-19. Moreover, they discovered that Dutch hospital workers who got the flu vaccine had a lower risk of getting sick.
However, the research still has not gone through peer review. Also, the data don’t prove that flu vaccines will make you immune to COVID-19. For example, the workers could have avoided getting into situations where the virus could spread.
On the other hand, this new study seems to support previous research. Earlier studies suggest that existing vaccines can protect people from COVID-19. However, not all the data were promising. Some scientists still doubt the theory, too.
Currently, experts are testing whether the BCG vaccine can give short-term protection from COVID-19. The BCG vaccine protects against tuberculosis. Right now, the best you can do is get flu shots. If you get your shots, you can protect yourself and your community this winter.