Relationship between influenza vaccination coverage rate and COVID-19 outbreak. An italian ecological study

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Abstract

Background: The lack of specific vaccines or drugs against coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) warrants studies focusing on alternative clinical approaches to reduce the spread of this pandemic disease. In this study, we investigated whether anti-influenza vaccination plays a role in minimizing the diffusion of COVID-19 in the Italian population aged 65 and over. Methods: Four COVID-19 outcomes were used: severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) seroprevalence, hospitalizations for COVID-19 symptoms, admissions to intensive care units for reasons related to SARS-CoV-2, and deaths attributable to COVID-19. Results: At univariate analyses, the influenza vaccination coverage rates correlated negatively with all COVID-19 outcomes (Beta ranging from −134 to −0.61; all p < 0.01). At multivariable analyses, influenza vaccination coverage rates correlated independently with SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence (Beta (95% C.I.): −130 (−198, −62); p = 0.001), hospitalizations for COVID-19 symptoms (Beta (95% C.I.): −4.16 (−6.27, −2.05); p = 0.001), admission to intensive care units for reasons related to SARS-CoV-2 (Beta (95% C.I.): −0.58 (−1.05, −0.12); p = 0.017), and number of deaths attributable to COVID-19 (Beta (95% C.I.): −3.29 (−5.66, −0.93); p = 0.010). The R2 observed in the unadjusted analysis increased from 82% to 159% for all the considered outcomes after multivariable analyses. Conclusions: In the Italian population, the coverage rate of the influenza vaccination in people aged 65 and over is associated with a reduced spread and a less severe clinical expression of COVID-19. This finding warrants ad hoc studies to investigate the role of influenza vaccination in preventing the spread of COVID-19.

Original languageEnglish
Article number535
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalVaccines
Volume8
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2020

Keywords

  • Coronavirus spread
  • COVID-19
  • Influenza vaccination coverage rate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Pharmacology
  • Drug Discovery
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Pharmacology (medical)

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