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Flu Vaccination Safe for Hospitalized Patients

THURSDAY, Jan. 10, 2019 -- Influenza vaccination during hospitalization is associated with reduced risk for readmission, outpatient visits, fever, and clinical evaluations for infection postdischarge, according to a study published online Jan. 8 in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

Sara Y. Tartof, Ph.D., M.P.H., from Kaiser Permanente Southern California in Pasadena, and colleagues conducted a retrospective cohort study to examine whether influenza vaccination during hospitalization increases health care utilization, fever, and infection evaluations in the seven days after discharge. Data were included for 290,149 hospitalizations among 255,737 patients with admission and discharge dates between Sept. 1 and March 31 for 2011 to 2014.

The researchers found that the risk for readmissions, outpatient visits, fever, and clinical evaluations for infection were reduced for those vaccinated during hospitalization versus those who were never vaccinated or were vaccinated at other times (relative risks, 0.88, 0.97, 0.8, and 0.95, respectively). In the adjusted main analyses, there was no increased risk for any outcomes.

"While there is a prominent care gap in the missed opportunities for influenza vaccination in the inpatient setting, the data demonstrating effectiveness of influenza vaccination and our data about the safety of inpatient influenza vaccination provide assurance that the closure of this care gap is a reasonable strategy to reduce the burden of morbidity and mortality due to influenza," the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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Posted: January 2019

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