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Long-stay skilled nursing residents who receive an adjuvanted trivalent influenza vaccine (aTIV) may be at a lower risk for hospitalization compared to a non-adjuvanted trivalent influenza vaccine, according to study findings presented this week.

Brown University researcher Stefan Gravenstein, M.D., and his team looked at more than 800 nursing homes to determine whether a standard, seasonal flu shot was as effective as the aTIV, Healio reported. Researchers randomly assigned homes to offer either shot in the 2016-2017 season, and then studied those who had been in a nursing home for more than 100 days.

Researchers examined long-stay residents who were hospitalized from November 2016 to June 2017, along with the reason for admission. Around 18,000 residents were in each shot’s group. While both carried about the same mortality risk, there were around 400 fewer hospitalizations in the aTIV group.

That’s a relatively small number, but Gravenstein and colleagues said during the ID Week conference last week in San Francisco that aTIV may reduce hospitalization risk for long-term nursing home residents during a season predominantly experiencing influenza A/H3N2. With regards to reducing hospitalizations, both types of vaccines appeared valuable, Gravenstein indicated.

“There is only slowly growing recognition of the influenza vaccine benefit beyond just reducing clinically recognizable influenza cases,” Gravenstein said. “[Our] study demonstrates vaccine benefit [using] an easy metric — hospitalized or not — that is clinically important, expensive and debilitating, albeit a single-season outcome.”