SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 24, 2016

High dose influenza vaccine decreasing hospitalizations for nursing home residents

High dose influenza vaccine decreasing hospitalizations for nursing home residents. | Courtesy of myvmc.com
A team of scientists from University Hospitals Case Medical Center recently conducted a study that shows that a high dose influenza vaccine effectively decreases the number of hospitalizations for older residents in nursing homes.

The study involved flu immunizations that were four times stronger than regular flu shots. The group with the higher dose of vaccinations showed a 19.7 percent hospital admission rate compared to 20.9 percent hospital admission rate of people who only had the regular dose vaccine.

"If given to all approximately 1.5 million nursing home residents, a one percent drop in hospitalizations would translate to thousands fewer being hospitalized," Stefan Gravenstein, M.D., MPH, lead author of the study, Director of the Center for Geriatrics and Palliative Care at University Hospitals Case Medical Center, said.

Nursing home residents are some of the most at-risk populations for hospitalizations.

"Flu in a nursing home population is a major cause of hospitalizations," Gravenstein said. "In addition to pneumonia, flu can contribute to heart attacks, heart failure and strokes, especially in an older nursing home population where it can easily spread among residents. In our study, for every 83 individuals receiving the high dose vaccine a person was prevented from being hospitalized during the influenza season.”

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