NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — There is some good news about vaccines protecting against COVID-19. But not any of the ones you’ve heard of.

As CBS2’s Dr. Max Gomez reported Wednesday, common childhood and adult vaccines that may offer some protection.

READ MORE: AstraZeneca-Oxford Vaccine May Help Slow Spread Of COVID As Well


Normally, we think of vaccines as teaching the immune system to react and protect against very specific invaders, like measles, polio, mumps, pneumonia, flu and so on. It turns out, the immune system can learn from vaccines in unanticipated ways.

“If you have received a number of different vaccines previously, your risk of having a positive SARS-COV-2 diagnosis was less. So the rate of positive tests in the vaccinated people were about 60-80% the rate of positive tests,” said Dr. Andrew Badley of the Mayo Clinic.

Immune training has now cropped up as protective against COVID-19.

In a not-yet-peer-reviewed study, Badley and Mayo Clinic colleagues analyzed more that 137,000 medical records and found an interesting correlation.

READ MORE: New Pre-Print Study Suggests COVID Reinfection Is Not That Rare

“Think of your immune system as a muscle. The more often you exercise that muscle, the stronger it is. So to put that into scientific terms, immune training is the reprogramming of innate immune cells so that when they encounter a subsequent challenge, they have a more robust response,” said Dr. Andrew Badley of the Mayo Clinic.

The vaccines Badley is referring to aren’t COVID vaccines. They’re the standard polio, MMR, chicken pox, HIB, hepatitis A and B, and geriatric flu vaccines.

The protection lasted at least five years, as far back as the records allowed, but may be even longer lived.


This kind of massive data analysis was only possible using an artificial intelligence platform from a firm called nference.

“Looking across hundreds of thousands of patients, complete electronic health records to let these patterns emerge from the data required. It couldn’t have been done manually to have taken months or even years in this context,” nference’s Venky Soundararajan said.

MORE NEWS: Yale Researchers Discover Cancerous Skin Tumors May Be Treated With Direct Injection Of Nanoparticles, Which Are Key To COVID Vaccines

While the protection from non-COVID vaccines isn’t total, it is a reason to make sure that you and your children are fully vaccinated.

Dr. Max Gomez