Does getting a flu shot increase coronavirus risk?

A few weeks ago, the Washington D.C./northern Virginia (“Washington Beltway”) region was declared a coronavirus “hot spot.” But this week, as the region hits its transmission peak, I fear the number of COVID-19 cases could surge even higher than expected among certain key populations.

Here’s why…

According to a brand new study conducted by the Department of Defense (DoD), DoD personnel who received the annual flu vaccine had a much higher risk of developing certain other non-influenza respiratory viruses…including a 36 percent higher risk of developing an earlier version of coronavirus and a 51 percent higher risk of developing a human metapneumovirus (HMPV), a leading cause of respiratory infections, particularly in children, immunocompromised patients, and the elderly.

Now, let me be clear about one thing…

The type of coronavirus the vaccinated DoD personnel contracted in their earlier study was technically a different version…not the “novel” COVID-19 version currently making its rounds. (The earliest versions of the coronavirus are actually thought to date back millions of years!)

But—the DoD findings still raise major concerns.

For one, just think about the other bureaucratic drones working and living in the D.C. region who get the flu vaccine every year, as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Indeed, active military personnel are required to get it, even if they would prefer not to!

So, as the DoD study shows, all these folks in the D.C. region have a greater risk of developing certain respiratory infections. Does that mean they will also have a higher risk of developing the new version currently making its rounds, too?!

Well, that hasn’t actually been studied yet, so we can’t say. And if we’re relying on hearing about it from the CDC, we may never know. For example, had you heard anything about this problem before today’s Dispatch?

Instead, the CDC is still out there pushing their flawed flu vaccines—when the real solution to slowing the spread of coronavirus is what people are finally doing…practicing better personal hygiene and “social distancing.”

Still, I have another big concern about the new DoD study…

It does clearly show that the flu vaccine lowers your natural defenses against other respiratory viruses. And I’ve actually talked about this known effect before…

Flu vaccine causes “interference” against other viruses

One of the many reasons why I have always advised you against getting the flu vaccine has to do with its disruption of your normal immune function.

Let me explain…

When you get a cold or the flu, your immune system naturally ramps up to fight off the invader. Plus, by kicking into high gear to combat the original invader, you also get some cross-protection against other respiratory infections.

But the flu vaccine appears to “interfere” with this natural defense system. Researchers know about this interference and have studied it extensively. It’s so well-known among real scientists, they even have a name for it: “vaccine-associated virus interference.”

This problem was actually demonstrated years ago, for example, in children from Hong Kong. In that study, children who received the flu vaccine ended up contracting almost four times as many respiratory and other infections overall compared to the children who didn’t get the vaccine.

I’m concerned about our active military and veterans

Of course, as I mentioned earlier, if you’re active duty military, you already had to get a flu shot this year, because it’s mandatory that you do so. But the Veterans Administration (VA) is still telling veterans, and everybody else, to get one—even after the height of the regular flu season (which is likely more deadly than this year’s coronavirus pandemic) has come and gone.

Which is worrisome, as many veterans are older, disabled, or suffering from a chronic disease—such as cancer, heart disease, or Type II diabetes—and take drugs that make them more susceptible (as I recently reported). And all of that already puts them at a higher risk of contracting coronavirus. Plus, their history of getting numerous flu vaccinations in the past may, in theory, push their risk even higher. (Again, this hasn’t actually been studied yet.)

Not to mention, some vets were even exposed to toxic herbicides—like the infamous “Agent Orange.” So, a viral infection can basically turn into a death sentence—making it all the more important to have your immune system firing on all cylinders.

Doesn’t the DoD have an obligation to warn its staff and veterans about the disturbing results of its own study?

Well, if you haven’t been following my long-standing recommendation to avoid the annual flu shot, add this to my list of reasons—especially when we enter the next flu season this coming fall/winter!

But even if you did get the flu shot this year, don’t fret. There are still many practical steps you can take RIGHT NOW to boost your defenses, including supplementing with 10,000 IU of vitamin D daily.

You can learn all about my other top immune health recommendations in my Pandemic Protection Playbook: How to become “immune ready” in every season. To gain access to this essential guide, click here now!


“Influenza vaccination and respiratory virus interference among Department of Defense personnel during the 2017–2018 influenza season.” Vaccine, 2020; 38(2): 350-354

“Increased Risk of Noninfluenza Respiratory Virus Infections Associated With Receipt of Inactivated Influenza Vaccine,” Clinical Infectious Disease, 2012; 54(12):1778-1783.