Flu Vaccine Reduces Hospitalizations Due to Influenza Pneumonia
the ONA take:
Investigators at Vanderbilt University Medical Center found that more than 50% of hospitalizations due to influenza pneumonia could be prevented if the patient had received the influenza vaccine. Their study is published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
The researchers used data from 2,767 patients age 6 months and older collected in the Etiology of Pneumonia in the Community (EPIC) study.
The patients were hospitalized with community-acquired pneumonia during the 2010, 2011, and 2012 influenza seasons, in Chicago, Memphis, Nashville, and Salt Lake City.
Approximately 6% of these inpatients had laboratory-confirmed influenza; the remaining inpatients tested free of influenza.
Among the influenza-free patients, 29% had a current flu vaccine, whereas only 17% of the influenza pneumonia patients had a current vaccination.
Older adults and patients with immunosuppressive conditions experienced lower benefit from the influenza vaccine in terms of preventing pneumonia hospitalization.
Therefore, higher flu vaccine doses have been recommended for these patients and have proven to be more effective than standard doses in older patients.
The effectiveness of higher-dose vaccines in patients with immunosuppressive conditions is currently being investigated.
More than 50% of hospitalizations due to influenza pneumonia could be prevented if the patient had received the influenza vaccine.
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