High-dose flu shot cuts hospitalization risk for long-term care residents

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A high-dose influenza vaccination helped reduce the number of hospitalizations among long-term care residents with respiratory conditions during a recent flu season, researchers reported last week.

Investigators with Brown University's Warren Alpert Medical School compared the effects of the high-dose Fluzone vaccine compared to the standard dose vaccine on more than 50,000 nursing home residents during the 2013-2014 flu season. The dominant strain that year was A/H1N1.

The results of the study, presented at IDWeek 2016 in New Orleans by lead researcher Stefan Gravenstein, MD, MPH., found that the high-dose vaccine helped reduce both hospitalization risk and the number of hospitalizations for respiratory infections when compared to the standard vaccine group. Mortality rates between the two groups were similar, researchers said.

Those findings indicate that the high-dose vaccine can be effective at reducing hospitalizations among nursing home residents in flu seasons that are A/H1N1-dominant, Gravenstein concluded.