According to a new study conducted by the research team from the University of Missouri School of Medicine, children who have received flu vaccines are less likely to experience severe COVID-19 symptoms. Even if they are infected, they will most probably experience mild symptoms only. This study is based on data obtained from 900 children, all of which were reportedly diagnosed with the deadly COVID-19 last year.
This phenomenon of one virus masking the effect of another virus is common and is named ‘virus interference’. It doesn’t necessarily require the previous virus to be inactive during the second of the second infection. It can even show up when the first virus (let’s say flu virus) is already active and then another virus (coronavirus) attacks the body.
This research team investigated the medical records from 905 children who were found COVID-19 positive between the months of February 2020 to August 2020. They confirmed the flu vaccination history of each one of these patients. on the basis of these medical records, the research team found that children who were given a flu vaccine before contracting coronavirus experienced mild symptoms only, and there were no severe COVID-19 symptoms in any of these patients. in addition to that, children who were given a pneumococcal vaccine also showed the similar results and there were no signs of them experiencing symptomatic COVID-19.
Even after one year, hundreds of studies and so much data available on coronavirus, investigating its effect on children is still hard. It is because children have a different role to play in this whole pandemic situation. On one side they are least likely to carry the virus as compared to their adult counterparts and on the other side, they can be the middle person carrying the virus from one person to another person (child to adult viral transmission).
Understanding this link is also critical because of the co-existence of coronavirus with other viruses, against which, most of them are vaccinated. Understanding how these vaccinations affect the coronavirus is still new and unexplored, which is why it is hard to predict anything for children.
This study implies the need for more children-centered studies for understanding severe COVID-19 symptoms and the regular vaccinations that are given to children. More importantly, it has to be big geographical-multiracial research to make this effect discoverable among children from all areas, countries, races, ethnicities, and ages, among other socioeconomic factors.
These results imply that there is be a possibility that high COVID-19 reports in specialized groups or minority groups are because of the inequalities that they experience in healthcare especially vaccination and treatments.