A school-based flu vaccination program in California led to higher vaccination rates, fewer absences, and less flu transmission

A school-located influenza vaccination program implemented in 95 preschools and elementary schools in California was associated with increased influenza vaccination coverage, decreased school absences due to illness, and lower influenza transmission across the community. The 11% increase in flu vaccination in children enrolled in target schools was associated with fewer flu hospitalizations in the community, including 160 fewer influenza hospitalizations per 100,000 among people aged 65 and older.

Immunizing pregnant women protects infants from influenza, with 56% efficacy in the first 2 months of life

A pooled analysis of three randomized controlled trials conducted in Nepal, Mali, and South Africa between 2011 and 2014 found that immunization during pregnancy provided protection against influenza to young infants from birth through 4 months of age. Protection against infant influenza was greatest in the first 2 months of life, with 56% efficacy, and the pooled efficacy of maternal vaccination to prevent infant laboratory-confirmed influenza up to 6 months of age was 35%.

Influenza vaccination for healthcare workers reduced sick days during flu seasons

Healthcare workers who received an influenza vaccine missed fewer days of work compared to non-vaccinated peers (1.74 vs 2.71 days/person). The study took place at a large Italian hospital that employed approximately 5,300 healthcare workers. The researchers examined a severe influenza season (2017/2018) as well as three moderate flu seasons (2010-2013).

Increasing influenza vaccination coverage by 10% leads to a 65% decrease in antibiotic use

A retrospective analysis of influenza vaccination coverage and antibiotic prescribing rates from 2010 to 2017 across states in the United States, controlling for differences in health infrastructure and yearly vaccine effectiveness, found that a 10-percentage point increase in influenza vaccination coverage was associated with a 6.5% decrease in antibiotic use across all age groups, equivalent to 14.2 fewer antibiotic prescriptions per 1000 individuals.

Influenza vaccination in patients with diabetes reduces the risk of death and complications

In patients with diabetes, influenza vaccination was associated with a reduced risk of all-cause death, cardiovascular death, and death from acute myocardial infarction (heart attacks) or stroke. The analysis included medical records from 241,551 adult patients in Denmark across nine consecutive influenza seasons (2007 to 2016). Influenza vaccination was associated with a reduced risk for being admitted to the hospital with diabetes-related complications, like diabetic ketoacidosis, hypoglycemia, or coma.

Influenza vaccination reduces absenteeism among healthcare workers

In a retrospective cohort study among healthcare workers (HCWs) of an Italian academic healthcare trust during the 2017ā€“2018 influenza season, non-vaccinated HCWs lost 2.47/100 person-days of work compared to 1.92/100 person-days of work among vaccinated HCWs (pā€‰<ā€‰0.001). This adds further evidence that absenteeism among HCWs is negatively correlated with influenza vaccination.

Immunization against influenza and pneumococcus can reduce healthcare visits and antibiotic use, improving overall health

This systematic review suggests that vaccination against influenza and pneumococcus can reduce overall healthcare visits and antimicrobial consumption. Of the 26 studies included in the review, 23 found significant reductions in antimicrobial use in vaccinated individuals or groups. This evidence indicates that improved coverage with existing vaccines may significantly reduce antimicrobial demand.

Increasing influenza vaccine uptake can help manage respiratory outbreaks and reduce strain on healthcare systems during COVID-19

The potential for a spike in COVID-19 concurrent with influenza season could threaten to overwhelm healthcare systems, particularly in resource-limited contexts. A double burden of influenza and COVID-19 cases could also increase risk of cross-infection and transmission in hospital settings. This mathematical modeling study found that increasing influenza vaccine uptake would help manage respiratory outbreaks coinciding with peak flu season and thus reduce the potential strain on healthcare systems responding to COVID-19.

Influenza vaccination reduces antibiotic prescriptions and helps fight against antibiotic resistance

A study led by researchers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that across five winter influenza seasons (2013-2018), vaccination against influenza averted 1 in 25 antibiotic prescriptions among outpatients with acute respiratory illness (ARI). The study population included 37,487 ARI outpatients 6 months or older treated at over 50 healthcare facilities across the United States. The authors conclude that influenza vaccination may curb unnecessary antibiotic use and help reduce the global threat of antibiotic resistance.

A study in Germany found that vaccinating children against influenza reduces infections in the general population

A modelling simulation study in Germany found that routine influenza vaccination coverage of 55% in children of 6 months to 17 years indirectly reduces influenza infections by 26% in the general population through pronounced herd effects. The study authors conclude that targeting children in influenza vaccination campaigns may not only reduce their individual disease burden, but also that of non-vaccinated individuals.