Can the flu shot reduce COVID-19 infections?

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FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) – Health officials urge you to get a flu shot this year hoping to prevent a “twin-demic”- meaning outbreaks of both COVID-19 and the flu but a new study suggests there could be another benefit to getting the flu vaccine.

With cases rising across Arkansas, many are still waiting on a COVID-19 vaccine, but, there is some interesting preliminary data from the Scientific American which suggests the vaccine may trigger a general immune response possibly protecting you against the coronavirus.

Dr. Gary Berner with the Community Clinic said while it’s too soon to make much of a statement on this preliminary finding, he can see where he might be accurate. However, he said more research is the only way to know for sure,

He is fairly confident, though, that if you do get COVID-19 after getting the flu vaccine, the flu shot itself may lessen the severity of coronavirus.

“We don’t hear about all the asymptomatic cases with the flu; it almost always makes you feel quite rotten,” Dr. Berner said. “Perhaps then, if you’re protected from the flu and were to get coronavirus you might be more likely to get that version that doesn’t cause any symptoms.”

Dr. Berner said whether the flu vaccine is officially confirmed to help COVID-19 or not, it’s still crucial you get your flu vaccine simply to prevent you from getting the illness.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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