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Pneumonia vaccine may reduce COVID-19 mortality until coronavirus vaccine is ready





Left: Total rate of pneumococcal vaccination in childhood and adults (65 years and older) (out of 200 possible). Right: The number of COVID-19 cases (per million) about 90 days after the pandemic occurred in 24 countries. In countries with high pneumococcal vaccination rates, COVID-19 cases are low. credit: CC BY-SA

The annual flu season can cause a COVID-19 pandemic Doubly deadlyBut I don’t think this is inevitable.

There are two commonly given vaccines. Streptococcus pneumoniae vaccine And that Hib vaccine— Protects against bacterial pneumonia. These bacteria complicate both influenza and COVID-19 and are often fatal. After investigating disease trends and vaccination rates, I thought that widespread use of Streptococcus pneumoniae and Hib vaccine could prevent the worst effects of COVID-19 disease.

I am an immunologist and a physiologist I am interested in the effects of complex infections on immunity. I came to my insight by lining up two seemingly unrelated puzzles.Infants and children get SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, but very much. Rarely hospitalized Or dieAnd the number of cases and mortality from COVID-19 began to vary significantly from country to country and from city to city, even before the blockade began. I wondered why.

One night I woke up with a possible answer: vaccination rate. Most children have been vaccinated against various illnesses since the age of two months. Adults are not so much. In addition, immunization rates for both infants and adults vary widely around the world. Can differences in vaccination rates for one or more diseases explain the difference in COVID-19 risk?As someone who has previously investigated other pandemics such as: 1918-19 influenza pandemic And AIDS, And who has Worked with a vaccine, I had a strong background for tracking relevant data to test my hypothesis.

Streptococcus pneumoniae vaccination rate correlates with COVID-19 cases and reduced mortality

Collected national and local data on immunization rates For Haemophilus influenzae, polio, measles-tetanus-pertussis (MMR), diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis (DTP), tuberculosis (BCG), Streptococcus pneumoniae and Haemophilus influenzae (Hib). I correlated them with the COVID-19 case rate and For 24 countries that experienced the outbreak of COVID-19 at about the same time. I managed factors such as obesity, diabetes, or the proportion of the elderly population.

I found it Only the pneumococcal vaccine provided statistically significant protection For COVID-19. Countries with the highest COVID-19 infection rates per million, such as Spain, Italy, Belgium, Brazil, Peru and Chile, have the lowest pneumococcal vaccination rates in both infants and adults. The countries with the lowest incidence of COVID-19 (Japan, South Korea, Denmark, Australia, New Zealand) have the highest pneumococcal vaccination rates in both infants and adults.

Recent preprint studies by researchers (not yet peer-reviewed) The Mayo Clinic has also reported a very strong link between pneumococcal vaccination and protection against COVID-19. This is especially true for minority patients who are at the mercy of a coronavirus pandemic. The report also suggests that other vaccines, or a combination of vaccines such as Hib and MMR, may also provide protection.

These results are important. Because in the United States Childhood vaccination against Streptococcus pneumoniae — Streptococcus pneumoniae Bacteria — varies from 74% to 92% depending on state.. The CDC recommends that all adults aged 18-64 and all adults aged 65 and over in the high-risk group of COVID-19 receive pneumococcal vaccination, but 23% and 65 of high-risk adults. Only 64% of adults over the age of. Do so..

Similarly, the CDC recommends vaccination of all babies and some high-risk adults, Haemophilus influenzae Type B (Hib) only 80.7% of children in the United States And a handful Immunologically endangered adults It has become. Streptococcus pneumoniae and Hib is Significantly low To U.S. minority population In the country Hit harder with COVID-19 From the United States

Based on these data, I advocate universal pneumococcal and Hib vaccination in children, at-risk adults, and all adults over the age of 65 to prevent serious COVID-19 disease. I am.

How Streptococcus pneumoniae vaccination protects against COVID-19

The protection against severe COVID-19 disease with Streptococcus pneumoniae and the Hib vaccine makes sense for several reasons.First, recent studies show the majority of COVID-19 patients admitted, and some studies show almost all. Hib infected with streptococcus that causes pneumococcal pneumonia Or Other bacteria that cause pneumonia. Streptococcus pneumoniae and Hib vaccination should protect coronavirus patients from these infections and thus significantly reduce the risk of severe pneumonia.

We also found that pneumococcal, Hib, and in some cases rubella vaccines may provide specific protection against the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19 by “molecular mimicry.”

Molecular mimicry occurs when the immune system considers one microbe to look like another. in this case, And to a lesser extent, what is also found in the Hib and rubella vaccines It looks like some proteins produced by the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

Two of these proteins found in the pneumococcal vaccine mimic the spike and membrane proteins that allow the virus to infect cells. This suggests that pneumococcal vaccination may prevent SARS-CoV-2 infection. The other two mimics are nucleoproteins and replicases that control viral replication. These proteins are made after a viral infection. In that case, pneumococcal vaccination may control SARS-CoV-2 replication, but it cannot be prevented.

In any case, these vaccines may provide proxy protection against SARS-CoV-2 infections that can be currently implemented, even before the outbreak of a particular virus. .. Such protection may not be perfect. People may still suffer from a weakened version of COVID-19, but like most babies and children, they are protected from the worst effects of infection.

Fighting influenza-related pneumonia during a COVID-19 pandemic

The specific protection these other vaccines provide against COVID-19 has not yet been tested in clinical trials, but for another well-validated reason, broader implementation of the pneumococcal and Hib vaccines. Advocate.

Streptococcus pneumoniae and Hib pneumonia, both caused by bacteria, are the leading cause of death after viral influenza. Influenza viruses rarely lead to direct death. In most cases, the virus makes the lungs susceptible to bacterial pneumonia. Bacterial pneumonia is fatal. Dozens of studies In the world Proven The rate of increase Streptococcus pneumoniae and Hib vaccination Dramatically reduces flu-related pneumonia.

Similar studies show that the prices of using these vaccines are balanced by savings at lower rates. Influenza-related hospitalization, Admission to the intensive care unit and death.. In the COVID-19 situation, lowering influenza-related and ICU hospitalization rates frees up resources to fight the coronavirus, regardless of the impact of these vaccines on SARS-CoV-2 itself. In my opinion, it’s a winning scenario.

In short, you don’t have to wait for the SARS-CoV-2 vaccine to slow down COVID-19.

We believe that we can and should act now by fighting the coronavirus with all the tools we have at our disposal. Includes vaccination against influenza, Hib, Streptococcus pneumoniae, and possibly rubella..

Preventing the complications of influenza and COVID-19 pneumococcus and Hib, and perhaps surrogate vaccination against SARS-CoV-2 itself, will help everyone. Administering these already available and well-tested Streptococcus pneumoniae and Hib vaccines to people can save money by freeing hospital beds and ICUs. It also improves public health by reducing the spread of multiple infectious diseases and boosts the economy by growing a healthier population.

Studies show no association between influenza vaccine and COVID-19 risk

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