Having a flu jab could help protect against coronavirus, ground-breaking new research has suggested.
The findings of the research appear to be so conclusive that scientists are hailing the flu jab as a “new weapon” to be used in the fight against COVID-19.
And the news will surely come as welcome relief following Boris Johnson‘s address to the nation last night (October 12).
In it, he said there are currently as many hospital admissions from coronavirus now as when the nation locked down on March 23.
How could a flu jab help battle coronavirus?
But it appears the flu jab – which is offered to millions for free on the NHS every winter – could help fight the killer virus.
The research suggests that the vaccine may boost the immune system, making it better equipped to kill coronavirus.
And it could potentially reduce deaths from the virus by a third.
Two studies of 100,000 people in Italy and Brazil found a rise in people having the flu jab equated to a drop in patients needing intensive care, despite the current pandemic.
Furthermore, the researched showed that when less than 30% of patients had the flu jab, the death rate was 150 per 100,000.
In places where 70% were vaccinated, the number dropped to less than 10 per 100,000.
What do the experts say?
Peter Openshaw, a respiratory expert at Imperial College London, told the Daily Mail the new research is a “new weapon” against the virus.
“This is great news and means the UK flu vaccination campaign is even more crucial.
“It means the flu jab is now also a weapon in terms of coronavirus prevention. It’s potentially one of the few effective measures we can undertake this winter.”
Public Health England appears to back up the claims.
It suggests those infected with both the flu and COVID-19 during the first wave were more at risk of severe illness and death.
The PHE study also stated that the chance of death for coronavirus patients doubles if they catch flu at the same time.
Where can I get a flu jab?
You can book an appointment with your GP, who’ll be able to administer the flu jab.
It means the flu jab is now also a weapon in terms of coronavirus prevention. It’s potentially one of the few effective measures we can undertake this winter.
You can also get it from the big supermarkets, including Asda, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Morrisons.
Asda has even opened a number of drive-through clinics where you can have your jab without leaving your car.
How much is it?
The flu jab – no matter where you get it – is free to millions of Brits.
Pregnant women, the elderly, frontline health staff and those with underlying health conditions all get it for free.
If you’re not eligible, you’ll pay between £8 and £13.99 to have the vaccination.
Asda and Morrisons are currently the cheapest places to have it.
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