Adjuvanted flu vaccine reduces hospitalizations in oldest old



An adjuvanted trivalent flu vaccine cuts the risk of hospitalizations in nursing home residents by about 6%, according to a new study presented at an annual scientific meeting on infectious diseases.

“It’s one thing to say you have a more immunogenic vaccine, it’s another thing to be able to say it offers clinical benefit, especially in the oldest old and the frailest frail,” says Stefan Gravenstein, MD, professor of medicine and health services, policy and practice at the Brown University School of Public Health, Providence, R.I. Dr. Gravenstein presented a poster outlying a randomized, clinical trial of the Fluad vaccine in nursing homes.

The study randomized the nursing homes so that some facilities would offer Fluad as part of their standard of care. The design helped address the problem of consent. Any clinical trial that requires individual consent would likely exclude many of the frailest patients, leading to an unrepresentative sample. “So if you want to have a generalizable result, you’d like to have it applied to the population the way you would in the real world, so randomizing the nursing homes rather than the people makes a lot of sense,” said Dr. Gravenstein.

Dr. Gravenstein chose to test the vaccine in nursing home residents, hoping to see a signal in a population in which flu complications are more common. “If you can get a difference in a nursing home population, that’s clinically important, that gives you hope that you can see it in all the other populations, too,” he said.

SOURCE: Gravenstein S et al. IDWeek 2018, Abstract 996.

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