Association between Influenza Vaccination Rates and SARS-CoV-2 Outbreak Infection Rates in OECD Countries

14 Pages Posted: 24 Jun 2020 Last revised: 8 Oct 2020

Date Written: March 20, 2020

Abstract

From December 2019 to early March 2020, the local outbreak of novel corona virus disease (COVID-19) in central China’s Hubei region has grown into a worldwide pandemic. This rapid and catastrophic escalation makes the search for and understanding of the underlying mechanisms of infection and disease, caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), as well as of their associated risk factors an urgent priority. In particular, strong variations in COVID-19 infection rates as seen internationally require a better understanding. Here we show that reported influenza vaccination coverage rates for 29 OECD countries are associated significantly with recently observed SARS-CoV-2 infection rates in these countries. This early observation, which merits further investigation, suggests that during the current coronavirus outbreak an influenza vaccination background might be a relevant factor for SARS-CoV-2 infection. The observed phenomenon is discussed in the context of vaccine associated virus interference and antibody-dependent enhancement of viral infectivity.

Note: Funding: The author received no specific funding for this work.

Conflict of Interest: The author declares that there is no conflict of interest.

Keywords: viral respiratory tract infections, COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2, influenza virus, vaccine associated virus interference, antibody-dependent enhancement, risk factors

Suggested Citation

Lisewski, Andreas Martin, Association between Influenza Vaccination Rates and SARS-CoV-2 Outbreak Infection Rates in OECD Countries (March 20, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3558270 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3558270

Andreas Martin Lisewski (Contact Author)

Jacobs University ( email )

Department of Life Sciences and Chemistry
Campus Ring 1
Bremen, 28759
Germany

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