The health and economic benefits of influenza vaccination in the elderly

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Influenza is a major cause of illness and death among the elderly. Studies in nursing homes and among community-living seniors have shown that influenza vaccine is effective in reducing not only occurrences of influenza in these populations, but also in decreasing influenza-associated complications including hospitalisations and death. Vaccination has also been shown to result in direct medical cost savings during the influenza season and to result in cost savings per year of healthy life gained. These health and economic benefits match or exceed those of many other preventive and therapeutic interventions, and yet influenza vaccine is underutilised. Administrative and organisational changes to clinical practice which emphasise the automatic offering of vaccine to patients, facilitate its administration, and include educational components addressing the concerns of patients about vaccine safety and efficacy are needed to allow providers and patients to take full advantage of this important opportunity for disease prevention and health protection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)190-193
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of the Irish Colleges of Physicians and Surgeons
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1996


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