CLEVELAND, Ohio – Here’s an unexpected bonus that can come with vaccine timing. Recent studies suggest that common vaccines, such as shingles and measles, may protect against severe COVID-19.

Previous studies have suggested that some vaccines – including the tuberculosis and flu vaccines – can work not only against the specific diseases they are designed for, but also against unrelated diseases.

Now, more scientists are testing the theory regarding Covid-19.

If the findings are robust, these findings could be critical during the next pandemic. While specific vaccines are being developed, existing vaccines may provide protection against new types of bugs.

New research includes:

· Collaboration between the Cleveland Clinic And Boston-based Brigham and Women’s Hospital found evidence that two common vaccines can boost the vaccine’s ability to protect against severe COVID-19.

· International study — which aims to enroll up to 30,000 health care workers — is among the first to widely evaluate whether measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) and Tdap vaccines can protect against Covid-19. Researchers expect to publish the data soon.

· A Kaiser Permanente study concluded that people vaccinated for shingles were less likely to be diagnosed with Covid-19 or hospitalized.

The Kaiser study “adds to this growing field of thought about the effectiveness of nonspecific vaccines in protecting against a variety of infections out there.” Katya Brooksworth, assistant detective A disease epidemiologist based at Kaiser Permanente in Southern California and the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Brooksworth was co-first author of the Kaiser Permanente study.

How can a vaccine designed to prevent one disease be effective against a different disease?

Researchers think the vaccine trains the body to respond faster and more effectively to any pathogen it encounters, Brooksvoort said.

“It’s like practice — it prepares you to prevent the next infection,” Brooksworth said.

One hypothesis is that different viruses have common characteristics that apply to all of them. Dr. Lara Jehi, The Clinic’s Chief Research Information Officer and co-author of the Clinic-Brigham and Women’s Study.

“When the body responds, it builds up immunity to everything, including common substances that can be applied to other viruses as well,” Jehi said. “It makes you better prepared for the next infection.”

However, people should not use these results as an excuse to avoid getting vaccinated for Covid-19, Jehi said.

More research is needed before doctors can recommend any vaccine to prevent getting sick with Covid-19, Brooksworth said. Being up-to-date on all vaccinations is recommended for a healthy and more responsive immune system, Brooksworth said.

“Immune studies are needed to understand what’s happening at the cellular level,” Brooksvoort said. “I think this will be the direction of research – to see if there are ways to use this system to optimize vaccination strategies so that we can get better protection in the future.”

Do covid-19 vaccines protect against other diseases? That is unknown, said Jehi. “It’s an interesting question,” Jehi said. “We are learning so much about Covid-19, and how the body responds to it, with each passing day.”

Clinic, Brigham and Women’s Hospital joint study involving two childhood vaccines and COVID-19

A team of researchers from the clinic — including Jehi — and Brigham and Women’s Hospital found evidence that the MMR and Tdap vaccines boost the ability of the vaccine to protect against severe Covid-19.

The MMR vaccine is given in early childhood and the Tdap vaccine is given every 10 years.

Vaccines are designed to stimulate special immune system cells called memory T cells and B cells to produce a strong and long-lasting immune response.

The idea is that memory T cells, previously induced by the MMR or Tdap vaccine and activated by current Covid-19 infections, give the immune system a head start in responding to Covid-19, researchers said. .

The clinic helped. Brigham and Women’s Hospital Analyzing data from more than 75,000 clinic patients who tested positive for Covid-19 between March 2020 and March 2021 in Ohio or Florida.

The team reported a 38 percent reduction in hospitalizations and a 32 percent reduction in intensive care unit admissions/deaths among Covid-19 patients previously vaccinated for MMR. Patients previously vaccinated for Tdap had a 23% reduction in hospital readmissions and a 20% reduction in intensive care admissions and deaths.

The findings were published a year ago in the journal Med. Michael W. Kattan A member of the Clinic’s Department of Quantitative Health Sciences, he also worked on the Clinic-Brigham and Women’s Study.

Kaiser Permanente is evaluating the shingles vaccine in a trial in Southern California

People who get vaccinated for shingles are less likely to be diagnosed with or hospitalized for Covid-19, according to a Kaiser Permanente study of people 50 and older. of Research has been published In the December issue of the Journal of Infectious Diseases.

The recombinant adjuvanted zoster vaccine, known by the brand name Shingrix, is recommended for people age 50 and older to protect against shingles.

To examine the possibility that the shingles vaccine might protect against Covid-19, Kaiser Permanente researchers conducted two types of analysis. Both analyzes used electronic health record data from Kaiser Permanente Southern California members age 50 and older between March 1 and December 31, 2020. During that time, Covid-19 vaccines were not widely available.

“Each[type of]analysis has its own unique advantages and disadvantages, so we apply both approaches to strengthen our research,” Brooksworth said.

One analysis compared COVID-19 diagnoses and hospitalizations among 149,244 people who received at least one shingles vaccine and 298,488 people who did not.

Another analysis examined shingles vaccination status among 75,726 people who tested positive for COVID-19 and 340,898 who tested negative for COVID-19 during the study period.

The analysis found that people who received at least one dose of the shingles vaccine were 16 percent less likely to be diagnosed with Covid-19. – Whether you have received the vaccine any time before. Shingles vaccine recipients were 32 percent less likely to be hospitalized for Covid-19.

GSK, the manufacturer of Shingrix, provided funding for this study.

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