Influenza vaccination and covid-19 mortality in the usa: An ecological study

Claudio Zanettini, Mohamed Omar, Wikum Dinalankara, Eddie Luidy Imada, Elizabeth Colantuoni, Giovanni Parmigiani, Luigi Marchionni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The COVID-19 mortality rate is higher in the elderly and in those with pre-existing chronic medical conditions. The elderly also suffer from increased morbidity and mortality from seasonal influenza infections; thus, an annual influenza vaccination is recommended for them. In this study, we explore a possible county-level association between influenza vaccination coverage in people aged 65 years and older and the number of deaths from COVID-19. To this end, we used COVID-19 data up to 14 December 2020 and US population health data at the county level. We fit quasi-Poisson regression models using influenza vaccination coverage in the elderly population as the independent variable and the COVID-19 mortality rate as the outcome variable. We adjusted for an array of potential confounders using different propensity score regression methods. Results show that, on the county level, influenza vaccination coverage in the elderly population is negatively associated with mortality from COVID-19, using different methodologies for confounding adjustment. These findings point to the need for studying the relationship between influenza vaccination and COVID-19 mortality at the individual level to investigate any underlying biological mechanisms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number427
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2021


  • COVID-19
  • Influenza
  • Influenza vaccine
  • Mortality
  • Vaccination coverage

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Pharmacology
  • Drug Discovery
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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