Well this is just unbelievable isn’t it?
A recent military study shows military personnel evaluated who received the flu vaccine were at 36 percent increased risk for coronavirus with varied benefit in preventing some strains of the flu.
“Examining noninfluenza viruses specifically, the odds of both coronavirus and human metapneumovirus in vaccinated individuals were significantly higher when compared to unvaccinated individuals (OR = 1.36 and 1.51, respectively) (Table 5).”
The flu vaccine studied demonstrated varied benefit in flu prevention – – some strains showed significant benefit while others did not.
Titled, Influenza vaccination and respiratory virus interference among Department of Defense personnel during the 2017–2018 influenza season, the report on the study addresses the phenomena of vaccine virus interference of the influenza vaccine.
Paraphrasing, the study highlights the value of the human body’s ability to fight against viruses. Apparently, by contracting influenza, the body naturally “may reduce the risk of non-influenza respiratory viruses…”
Due to the flu vaccine’s “interference” with the naturally occurring biological process, there may be an increased risk of contracting non-influenza viruses:
“While influenza vaccination offers protection against influenza, natural influenza infection may reduce the risk of non-influenza respiratory viruses by providing temporary, non-specific immunity against these viruses. On the other hand, recently published studies have described the phenomenon of vaccine-associated virus interference; that is, vaccinated individuals may be at increased risk for other respiratory viruses because they do not receive the non-specific immunity associated with natural infection.”
I started digging into this topic on the Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) advice two weeks ago when I noticed the agency’s top advice about coronavirus was to “get a flu shot”.
This advice seemed a bit too simplistic when given to a population of largely elderly veterans with significant disabilities, vaccine histories, and exposures to various pathogens worldwide.
After writing about it, one reader sent an email citing this study in PubMed.
I was later provided a copy of the full study and reviewed it with an expert to verify my own conclusions based on the information in that report.
Now, the feedback I received that really caught my attention was mainly in a question: Is the heightened risk of coronavirus and other pathogens worth the benefit of the influenza vaccine based on this study as broken down in Table 5 above?
The column to focus on is “OR” in Table 5.
Coronavirus is 1.36 meaning 36% higher risk.
The influenza virus overall is 0.57 meaning the risk of contracting the flu was reduced overall. Three variants of flu did not receive a statistically significant reduction in risk
You can read more from our friends at DisabledVeterans.org