“Flatten the Curve” – Influenza and Measles Vaccines May Aid in COVID-19 Prevention


“Flatten the Curve” – Flu Shots and Measles Vaccines May Aid in COVID-19 Prevention

While the arrival of highly effective vaccines against has been celebrated around the world, new research from Weill Cornell Medicine and the suggests that even vaccines that are unrelated to the pandemic could help reduce the pandemic’s burden.

The study, which was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on January 10, 2022, solidifies decades of evidence that many vaccines’ generalized immune-boosting properties can protect patients against multiple pathogens.

Many public health experts and immunologists recommended immunizing vulnerable populations with other vaccines before COVID-19-specific vaccines became available to provide some protection.

“We know that vaccines with unrelated effects have these heterologous effects, and a reasonable person could tell you that using them during a pandemic would be beneficial,” said Dr.

Weill Cornell Medicine’s Nathaniel Hupert, an associate professor of population health sciences and the paper’s lead author.

However, it was unclear how much such an intervention would help, which populations should be targeted, or how many people would need to receive unrelated vaccines to have a significant impact.

To respond to those concerns, Dr.

Dr. Hupert, Hupert’s co-author, and Hupert’s co-

Douglas Nixon, a professor of immunology in medicine at Weill Cornell Medicine’s Division of Infectious Diseases, and colleagues from Weill Cornell Medicine and Oxford used the COVID-19 International Modeling Consortium (CoMo) system, a sophisticated computer modeling platform they built in response to the pandemic.

“You can start to experiment with different conditions of population immunity and see how things might have played out if you have a model that can be customized to a specific place and time in the context of an outbreak,” Dr.

Hupert explained.

The researchers modeled the likely effects of a non-COVID-19 vaccine intervention at different times and targeting different populations using the winter 2020-21 COVID-19 wave that struck the United States after holiday season reopenings.

While the researchers did not name specific vaccines, they chose cross-protection values based on data from previous studies on measles, influenza, tuberculosis, and other immunizations.

They discovered that an unrelated vaccine that only provided 5% protection against the deadly COVID-19 and was only given to a small percentage of the population would have resulted in a significant reduction in caseloads and hospital visits.

“We were surprised to find a couple of really interesting emergent results from what we put in the mix,” Dr.

said Hupert.

While the severity of COVID-19 has a strong link to…

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