Effect of influenza vaccine on COVID‑19 mortality: a retrospective study

Marcello Covino, Veronica Ojetti, Massimo Antonelli, Antonio Gasbarrini, Francesco Franceschi, Marcello Candelli, Giulia Pignataro, Enrico Torelli, Antonio Gulli', Enrico Celestino Nista, Martina Petrucci, Angela Saviano, Debora Marchesini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

It has been proposed that vaccines may exert an unspecific protective effect against infectious agents, different than expected. Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a pandemic infection with high mortality in older patients due to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The high number of vaccinations may be one of the reasons why children show a lower susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2 infection and milder severity when compared to adults. We have designed a study aimed at investigating whether the influenza vaccine may reduce the susceptibility and severity of SARS-CoV-2 infection. We retrospectively enrolled 635 patients who accessed our Emergency Department from March 1st to June 30th, 2020, and were diagnosed with COVID-19 infection confirmed by an RT-PCR on an oropharyngeal swab. Clinical data, outcomes, and influenza vaccination status were collected from the electronic medical records of our Hospital. We also used data from the Italian Health Ministry to compare the prevalence of flu vaccination among the general population of the Lazio Region and our enrolled patients. We then compared clinical outcomes between vaccinated and non-vaccinated patients, by univariate and multivariate analysis. COVID-19-positive patients older than 65 years reported a lower prevalence of flu vaccination when compared to the general population residing in the Lazio (p = 0.004). After correction for gender, age, and comorbidities, we found a lower risk of death at 60 days in patients with flu vaccination than in not vaccinated patients (p = 0.001). Our study shows that flu vaccination could reduce the mortality of COVID-19. Prospective studies are needed to confirm this result
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
JournalInternal and Emergency Medicine
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Keywords

  • Influenza vaccine
  • Susceptibility
  • Mortality
  • COVID-19

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