Kids Who Got Flu Shot Had Milder COVID Symptoms

By Robert Preidt

HealthDay reporter

MONDAY, February 8, 2021 (HealthDay News) – Here’s another reason to make sure your kids get the seasonal flu shot.

A new study has shown that it reduces the risk of serious symptoms and illness in children if they contract COVID-19.

This conclusion is drawn from the medical records of more than 900 children diagnosed with COVID-19 between February and August of last year.

Those who got the current flu shot were less likely to have symptoms of COVID-19, breathing problems, or severe illness, University of Missouri researchers said.

Children who received the pneumococcal vaccine were also less likely to show symptoms of COVID-19, according to results recently published in the journal Cureus.

The results are important because there is no approved coronavirus vaccine for children yet.

“It is known that the growth of a virus can be inhibited by a previous viral infection,” said study author Dr Anjali Patwardhan, professor of pediatric rheumatology and child health at the Missouri School of Medicine in Colombia.

“This phenomenon is called viral interference, and it can occur even when the first invading virus is an inactivated virus, as in the case of the flu vaccine,” she said in a college press release.

Patwardhan said studying children is important because they play an important role in the viral spread.

“Understanding the relationship and coexistence of other viruses alongside COVID-19 and knowing the vaccination status of the pediatric patient can help deploy the right strategies for the best results,” she said.

Patwardhan added that it was now important to study the link between vaccinations and symptoms of COVID-19 in a larger geographic area with a multiracial makeup.

“Based on these results, we hypothesize that the higher incidence of COVID-19 in minority populations may also reflect their low immunization rate apart from other health inequalities,” Patwardhan said.

More information

The American Academy of Pediatrics has more on COVID-19.

SOURCE: University of Missouri, press release, February 4, 2021

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