High-dose flu vaccine use among nursing home residents significantly lowers hospital admissions

A study, published in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine, examined the effect of a high-dose influenza vaccine — four times the antigens of standard flu vaccines — on hospitalization risk among nursing home residents.

Researchers studied more than 38,000 participants 65 years old and older from 823 nursing homes. They compared the use of two influenza vaccines: one high dose and the other a standard vaccine. The residents received the vaccines in fall of 2013.

The study shows the high-dose vaccine reduced hospitalization for respiratory illness by 12.7 percent compared to the standard-dose vaccine. It also reduced all-cause hospitalizations among residents by 8.5 percent.

"In our study, we estimated that for every 84 individuals receiving the high dose vaccine a person was prevented from being hospitalized during the influenza season," said Stefan Gravenstein, MD, lead author of the study and faculty member at Providence, R.I.-based Warren Alpert Medical School at Brown University; University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center and Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in Cleveland.

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