The flu vaccine may help prevent flu-related pneumonia, a study suggests.When researchers looked at patients with pneumonia, 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.
Pneumonia can be a serious and common complication of catching the flu, the authors write.
“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.