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Influenza Vaccination for All?

german translation / full article

Andreas Sönnichsen

Question

The influenza season lies ahead of us. To which patients should I recommend influenza vaccination?

Answer

The influenza vaccination is of limited effect in healthy adults regarding the prevention of influenza like infections or microbiologically proven influenza. The effect is only present in seasons with high antigenic matching between vaccine and wild-type virus. Complications, working days lost and illness days are not influenced in healthy adults. In older people the influenza vaccination is effective regarding influenza-like infections, proven influenza, complications, hospitalization and influenza-associated death. Again the effectiveness is limited to good matching between vaccine and wild-type. Similar results can be expected for the chronically ill, but evidence is limited by a lack of high quality studies. The safety of the influenza vaccination regarding serious adverse events is satisfactory. Minor adverse events (local effects of the injection or flu-like symptoms) are significantly more frequent in those vaccinated.


(State: 17.11.2014)

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