How the flu vaccine can help us fight COVID-19?

By Foster22 | Dr Bear | 22 Sep 2020

Lately many journalists and scientists say that vaccine against influenza can also be used against COVID-19. But how can a vaccine made for one virus (flu) also be active against another?

To answer this question, we need to keep two important facts in mind. The first is that a specific vaccine protects against only one type of pathogenic organism. For example, the flu vaccine will produce antibodies directed only against the flu, whereas the vaccine against COVID-19 (when available) will produce antibodies directed only against COVID-19. This principle applies to all antibodies, they are produced by our organism to have a single target and ignore the others. The second is that the flu and COVID-19 give very similar symptoms (especially in the first days of both diseases).

This image is for illustrative purposes only (the green arrows show the capacity of action of the antibodies).

Now in an unvaccinated group of people, both diseases will circulate, it will be the doctors' task to make the differential diagnosis between the two, with costs and waste of time to understand each patient from which pathology he is suffering. On the other hand, in a group of people who have been vaccinated for the flu, almost everyone who has symptoms (cough, fever and others) will probably have COVID-19, because it is difficult for them to have the flu (because they are vaccinated). Another hypothesis is that vaccines increase the responsiveness of the immune system, thus the cells of the immune system would respond more quickly and effectively to infections, including COVID-19.

This image is for illustrative purposes only

So when you hear someone claim that the flu vaccine can also be used against the COVID-19 pandemic, this is because also reducing people who get the flu will also reduce people with respiratory symptoms. In this way there will be fewer patients and they can be diagnosed and treated sooner! The gain will not only be economic, but also in terms of people saved! Unfortunately, antibodies directed against influenza have no action against COVID-19 and for this we have to wait for the vaccine against COVID-19.


This post is not medical advice, it is for entertainment purposes only.

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Dr Bear
Dr Bear

Hi! I created for talking about emerging medical and health topics. I hope you find it interesting. Nowadays, several source of information are contradictory, so i will try to make it easy. Notice that this is blog should not be considered as medical advice (for medical advice talk to your physician). (Dr Bear because I'm also a crypto enthusiast, but I see bear movements everywhere XD)

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