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How Effective Is the Influenza Vaccine Among Patients With COPD?

January 13, 2020

The influenza vaccine is modestly effective for reducing laboratory-confirmed influenza-associated hospitalizations among older individuals with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), according to results of a new study.

To assess for influenza vaccine effectiveness among community-dwelling older adults with COPD, the researchers used health administrative data and respiratory specimens collected from patients tested for influenza during each of the influenza seasons from 2010 to 2016 in Ontario, Canada. They then estimated the adjusted odds ratio of influenza vaccination among people with vs without laboratory-confirmed influenza.

Patients who had received a seasonal influenza vaccination had an adjusted 22% reduction in laboratory-confirmed influenza-associated hospitalization. After adjusting for potential misclassification of vaccination status, the reduction in such hospitalizations was 43%.

According to the study authors, vaccine effectiveness did not vary by patient- or influenza-related variables.

“The imperfect effectiveness emphasizes the need for better influenza vaccines and other preventive strategies,” the researchers concluded.

—Colleen Murphy


Gershon AS, Chung H, Porter J, et al. Influenza vaccine effectiveness in preventing hospitalizations in older patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. J Infect Dis. 2020;221(1):42-52.

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