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Influenza vaccines reduce antibiotic use by preventing secondary infections and unnecessary prescriptions for respiratory illnesses

Vaccines against influenza reduce the use of antibiotics that drive drug resistance in bacteria in two ways. First, they prevent secondary bacterial infections caused by influenza, such as pneumonia and otitis media; in Ontario, Canada, the rate of prescribing for influenza-associated antibiotics declined around 64% after universal introduction of influenza vaccination compared to other Canadian provinces with more limited use of the vaccine. Second, they help prevent inappropriate antibiotic prescriptions for respiratory tract infections caused by influenza and other viruses, which account for half of all respiratory illnesses for which antibiotics are prescribed in the U.S.

Full Citation:
Jansen KU, Knirsch C, Anderson AS. 2018. The role of vaccines in preventing bacterial antimicrobial resistance. Nature Medicine. 24(1).

Title of Article: The role of vaccines in preventing bacterial antimicrobial resistance

Author(s): Jansen KU, Knirsch C, Anderson AS

Publication Year: 2018

Publication Name: Nature Medicine

Publication Volume: 24(1)

Publication Source URL:

DOI (Digital Object Identifier): 10.1038/nm.4465