Flu shot cuts severe outcomes for hospitalized patients, study finds

Vaccination can reduce the likelihood of severe outcomes, including death, in adults hospitalized with influenza by up to 36 percent, according to a study presented at IDWeek 2019, which took place Oct. 2-6, in Washington, D.C.

Researchers identified adults hospitalized with laboratory-confirmed flu during seasons 2013-14 through 2017-18 through the U.S. Influenza Hospitalization Surveillance Network. They gathered the vaccination status of the patients using medical records, vaccine registries and interviews.

Of 67,452 adults hospitalized with influenza, 43,608 were included in the study. Forty-seven percent were between the ages of 18 to 64 and 53 percent were older than 65. Thirty-eight percent of the 18 to 64-year-olds and 65 percent of those older than 65 were vaccinated.

Researchers found vaccination was linked to decreased odds of admission to the intensive care unit and mechanical ventilation in both age groups among patients with influenza A(H1N1)pdm09.

Additionally, vaccination was associated with lower likelihood of pneumonia and death as well as shortened ICU length of stay among the 18 to 64 years age group; and associated with shortened hospital length of stay among the 65-plus age group.

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