The association of previous influenza vaccination and coronavirus disease-2019

Ilan Green*, Shai Ashkenazi, Eugene Merzon, Shlomo Vinker, Avivit Golan-Cohen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Studies have shown similarities in the structure of influenza and coronaviruses, in their binding receptors and in patterns of immune responses; and that influenza vaccine can induce cross-immunity. We examined the association of previous influenza vaccination and severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection, resulting in coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19), among 715,164 members of a health maintenance organization. In a multivariate regression model, the odds ratios for SARS-CoV-2 infection among individuals vaccinated for influenza in 2018–2019, 2019–2020, and in both seasons, compared to non-vaccinated individuals, were 0.82 (95% CI 0.68–0.99, p = .048), 0.79 (95% CI 0.67–0.98, p = .005), and 0.76 (95% CI 0.61–0.97, p = .004), respectively. Based on our findings, administration of influenza vaccine before the influenza season is highly recommended to reduce the burden of influenza, which is critical in scenarios of outbreaks of both influenza and SARS-CoV-2 infections, and also regarding its association with reduced rate of COVID-19.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2169-2175
Number of pages7
JournalHuman Vaccines and Immunotherapeutics
Issue number7
StatePublished - 2021


  • COVID-19
  • coronaviruses
  • cross-protection
  • immunization
  • influenza vaccine
  • sars-CoV-2


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