Infectious Disease

Older, immunocompromised sufferers at increased danger of flu vaccine failure, issues

January 23, 2021

1 min read

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Disclosure:
Kimball does not report any relevant financial information. In the study you will find all relevant financial information from all other authors.

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One study found that elderly and immunocompromised patients were at increased risk of influenza vaccine failure and influenza complications, researchers reported.

“A lot of research has been done to look at different patient populations and their risks for vaccine failure.” Joanna Kimball, MD, Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine at the University of Kansas Medical Center, Healio said. “We wanted to screen patients admitted to hospital with acute influenza disease for specific risk factors in influenza-vaccinated patients versus non-vaccinated patients. By identifying these risk factors, we hoped to better identify patient populations at risk who could guide future influenza vaccine research and strategy. “

Flu shot

Elderly and immunocompromised patients are at increased risk of influenza vaccine failure and influenza complications.
Photo credit: Adobe Stock

Kimball and colleagues evaluated patients enrolled for acute respiratory disease during the 2015-2019 influenza season to compare vaccinated, influenza-negative patients with vaccinated, influenza-positive patients.

According to the study, 1,236 people vaccinated against influenza were enrolled in the study, of whom 235 (19%) tested positive for influenza. Researchers found that demographics, vaccines, and co-morbidities were similar between groups, with the exception of morbid obesity, which occurred in 13% of participants in the influenza negative group versus 8% in the influenza positive group (P = 0, 04); and immunosuppression, which was present in 63% of participants in the influenza positive group versus 54% in the influenza negative group (P = 0.01).

A logistic regression analysis showed that older patients (OR = 1.47; 95% CI, 1.03-2.1) and immunocompromised patients (OR = 1.56; 95% CI, 1.15-2.12) despite Immunization had an increased risk of influenza, the researchers reported. When scoring by influenza subtype, it was also found that immunosuppression increases the risk of influenza A (H3N2) (OR = 1.86; 95% CI, 1.25-2.75).

“What worries us most is that the patients who we found to be at greatest risk for influenza vaccine failure are also at greatest risk for influenza complications,” Kimball said. “We need to find ways to protect these patients from influenza, whether with more effective vaccines whose research is still ongoing or with new vaccination strategies such as promoting vaccination of close contacts among high-risk patients.”

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