According to the Vanderburgh County Health Department (VCHD), an "urban myth" is circulating on some college campuses and on the internet that says the flu vaccine reduces the ability to respond to other respiratory viruses, such as SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.
"This is patently FALSE," VCHD said in a release on Thursday. "There is no rational physiological reason why this might be true and certainly no valid evidence to support such claims. In fact, there is evidence to suggest that exactly the opposite is more likely to be true."
VCHD says that some studies have shown that individuals who are more heavily-vaccinated actually respond to new threats "much better" than individuals lacking a history of vaccination.
According to VCHD, a study that "has not yet undergone peer review" also found that patients with COVID-19 who were immunized against influenza fared better than those who were not.
"The authors analyzed data from 92,664 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Brazil and found that recently-vaccinated patients had, on average, an 8% lower chance of needing intensive care, an 18% lower chance of requiring invasive respiratory support, and a 17% lower chance of dying," VCHD explained.
Health Care providers of Vanderburgh County are strongly urging the public to get out and get the flu shot.