Flu Vaccination During Hospitalization Is Safe and Convenient, Says Study

Receiving the flu vaccine during hospitalization does not appear to increase the risk of healthcare utilization, fever, or infection evaluation after discharge, according to research published in Mayo Clinical Proceedings.

To investigate the safety of influenza vaccination during hospitalization, researchers from Kaiser Permanente assessed the health records of >250,000 patients, 6 months of age and older, who were hospitalized during any of the 3 flu seasons from 2011 to 2014 and were admitted and discharged between September 1 and March 31. “We compared the risk of outcomes of interest between those who received influenza vaccination during their hospitalization vs those who were never vaccinated that season or were vaccinated at other times using propensity score analyses with inverse probability of treatment weighting,” the authors explained.

Results showed that influenza vaccination during hospital stay was not associated with an increased risk for any of the outcomes of interest: hospital readmission (relative risk [RR], 0.88; 95% CI, 0.83-0.95), outpatient visits (RR, 0.97; 95% CI, 0.95-0.99), fever (RR, 0.80; 95% CI, 0.68-0.93), and infection evaluations (RR, 0.95; 95% CI, 0.92-0.98).

“This research backs up what many physicians have known intuitively for some time: Giving patients the flu vaccine while they are hospitalized is convenient and, most important, safe,” said Bruno J. Lewin, MD, a family practice physician at the Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center. “Unless there are contraindications, physicians should have no hesitation to vaccinate patients with the flu vaccine while they are hospitalized.”

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For more information visit mayoclinicproceedings.org.

This article originally appeared on MPR