Children who received their flu shot were less likely to suffer severe COVID-19 symptoms, according to a new study from the University of Missouri School of Medicine.

What’s going on?

The University of Missouri School of Medicine released findings of a new study that reviewed health records for more than 900 children who tested positive for COVID-19 in 2020.

  • The researchers said that children who received their flu shot were less likely to have respiratory symptoms and severe illness symptoms from COVID-19 compared to those who didn’t receive the flu shot.
  • Similarly, children who received the pneumococcal vaccine — which protects against pneumonia and meningitis — were less likely to suffer severe symptoms, too.
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In all, 3 million children have tested positive for COVID-19, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association.

Why it matters

Dr. Anjali Patwardhan, a professor of pediatric rheumatology and child health, told Yahoo! Life that the research started because of her work with COVID-19 patients.

  • “In the clinical practice, I saw very commonly that patients who were vaccinated were doing better than the patients who were not,” she told Yahoo Life. “And then I thought, I should pull the data up and see objectively whether this is true or not.”
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Patwardhan said in a release on the study that this might be reason enough to explore how flu vaccination impacts COVID-19 symptoms.

  • “Based on these findings, we hypothesize that the higher incidence of COVID-19 in minority populations may also reflect their low vaccination rate apart from other health inequalities,” Patwardhan said.