Drs. Douglas Nixon and Nathaniel Hupert have published a paper in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) that suggests flu shots, measles vaccines, and more, could help to flatten the curve for COVID-19.
In their study published in PNAS on January 10, 2022, Drs. Nixon, Hupert, and colleagues from Weill Cornell Medicine and the University of Oxford, employed a sophisticated computer modeling platform that they had built in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"If you have a model that can be customized to a particular place and time in the context of an outbreak, you can start to experiment with different conditions of population immunity and see how things might have played out," says lead author, Dr. Hupert, Associate Professor of Population Health Sciences.
Although the world has welcomed highly effective vaccines against COVID-19, Drs. Hupert and Nixon set out to investigate a unique hypothesis – whether unrelated vaccines could play a role in fighting the pandemic. Utilizing the winter 2020-21 COVID-19 wave, the researchers focused on the likely effects of a non-COVID-19 vaccine intervention while studying different times and targeting different populations (and based on earlier studies that had included measles, flu, tuberculosis, and other immunizations). It was found that even an unrelated vaccine providing 5% protection against serious COVID-19 would have resulted in a substantial reduction in caseloads and hospital usage.
Says senior author, Dr. Nixon, “This modeling study shows the potential power of all vaccines in keeping the immunological system primed and healthy and reinforces the need for everyone to keep their vaccination history up to date, particularly during a pandemic.”