MIAMI (WSVN) - South Florida medical experts said receiving a flu shot adds another layer of protection against COVID-19.

Researchers at the University of Miami’s Miller School of Medicine headed the largest study to date on the effects of the flu shot and the coronavirus.

Senior study author Dr. Devinder Singh said getting an annual flu shot decreases the likelihood of severe COVID symptoms.

“They subsequently had less risk of sepsis, stroke, [deep vein thrombosis], admission to the emergency department and admission to the intensive care unit,” he said.

The results of the study come from more than 70,000 people from the U.S., Europe and Asia. All of them tested positive for COVID-19, but the group of patients who received the flu shot were more than 50% less likely to end up in the hospital.

Singh advised patients to look at the flu shot as another tool in the arsenal of protection against the ever-changing virus.

“Do not think the flu vaccine is a substitute for the COVID vaccine. Again, the best way to protect yourself from COVID is to get the real COVID vaccine,” he said.

Now that peak travel season and the holidays are just months away, doctors recommend receiving the flu shot.

“It is still important to get the flu vaccine anyway, because we are very concerned about a ‘twin-demic,'” said Singh, referring to the possibility of the seasonal flu and COVID spreading at the same time.

The flu shot is being offered at local pharmacies like CVS and Walgreens.

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