SARS-CoV-2 infection and H1N1 vaccination: does a relationship between the two factors really exist? A retrospective analysis of a territorial cohort in Ferrara, Italy.
Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci. 2021 Mar ;25(6):2795-2801. PMID: 33829464
OBJECTIVE: SARS-CoV-2 has been compared with other strains of coronaviruses, SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV, and with the flu viruses: all of them manifest themselves with respiratory symptoms and, although their genetic patterns are similar, the spread of SARS-CoV-2 infection has quickly reached global dimensions, demonstrating that SARS-CoV-2 is a virus with greater spreading capacity, albeit less lethal. Compared with influenza viruses, coronaviruses have a longer incubation period and the patients with coronaviruses' syndromes develop more severe diseases requiring frequent hospitalizations and intensive care admissions. The aim was to explore the relationships between seasonal influenza vaccination and coronavirus infection and to understand whether this hypothetic role by the flu vaccines modifies SARS-CoV-2 infection's outcomes.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: In this retrospective, multicenter study, we enrolled 952 patients diagnosed with SARS-CoV-2 infection; 448 were admitted to our two main hospitals in Ferrara territory, while the remaining 504 were isolated at home. We compared the group of patients who had been vaccinated for influenza in the previous 12 months to that of unvaccinated patients.
RESULTS: Significant differences were found for both the need for hospitalization and 30-day mortality between vaccinated and unvaccinated patients. We found age to be the only independent risk factor for a worse 30-day prognosis, while gender, influenza vaccinations and age itself were independent risk factors for undergoing hospitalization.
CONCLUSIONS: In our groups of patients, we found a relationship between seasonal influenza vaccinations and SARS-CoV-2 infection. Age seems to be the main risk factor for short-term mortality in COVID-19 inpatients, while the influenza vaccination is, together with gender and age itself, a determining factor in predicting the need for hospitalization.