Skipped flu vaccine related to flu-pneumonia

Oct 06, 2015, 5:18 PM EDT
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Researchers looked at patients with pneumonia, and found that those whose pneumonia was related to the flu were more likely to have skipped the flu vaccine, compared to patients with pneumonia from other causes. Experts recommend that very few people skip getting a flu vaccine. Reuters reports:

“We knew that influenza vaccines could prevent fever and respiratory symptoms associated with influenza infections, but whether influenza vaccines could prevent pneumonia - a more serious complication of influenza infection - was unclear,” said lead author Dr. Carlos G. Grijalva of the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Nashville, Tennessee.
As reported in JAMA, the researchers used data on 2,767 children and adults hospitalized for pneumonia between 2010 and 2012 - including 162 who had laboratory-confirmed influenza.
Of the 162 people with influenza-associated pneumonia, only 28, or 17 percent, had been vaccinated. Almost 30 percent of the comparison cases had been vaccinated.
The flu shot is recommended for nearly all people by an advisory committee of experts and by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as it protects against the three or four flu viruses that scientists anticipate will be circulating during the season, which starts in October.
Is there anyone that experts say should not get a flu shot? Yes, but there aren’t many of them.
Babies under 6 months should not get the shot, according to the CDC. Other people who may need to pass are those with life-threatening allergies to the actual vaccine or ingredients that are in it, for instance, gelatin or antibiotics.