New! Sign up for our free email newsletter.
Science News
from research organizations

Vaccination may reduce the severity of the flu in vaccinated but still infected patients

Study analyzes all severe influenza cases in 12 Catalan hospitals between the 2010-2011 and 2015-2016 campaigns

Date:
November 28, 2018
Source:
University of Barcelona
Summary:
When influenza vaccination is ineffective in preventing the flu, it could have an additional effect reducing the severity of the infection, according to an epidemiological study.
Share:
FULL STORY

When influenza vaccination is ineffective in preventing the flu, it could have an additional effect reducing the severity of the infection, according to an epidemiological study which has the participation of members of the research group Epidemiology, Prevention and Control of Communicable Diseases led by Professor Angela Dominguez, from the Department of Medicine of the UB- and the Epidemiology and Public Health Networking Research Center (CIBERESP), from the Health Institute Carlos III.

The study, published in the scientific journal Eurosurveillance, also counts on the participation of researchers from the Public Health Agency of Catalonia, the Lleida Institute of Biomedical Research and the Barcelona Public Health Agency.

Fewer ICU admissions and deaths

Each year, between 5 and 20 % of the world population catches the flu, which causes about between 3 and 5 million severe cases and between 300,000 and 500,000 deaths worldwide. The new study analyses the effectiveness of anti-influenza vaccines to reduce the most severe effects of the flu: ICU admissions and death of patients whose vaccine did not prevent them from getting infected. To do so, researchers study all severe cases of influenza in twelve Catalan hospitals during the influenza seasons in 2010-2011 and 2015-2016, a period during which 1,727 patients over eighteen entered the hospital, 591 being ICU admissions and 223 resulting in deaths.

Results show that, among those ICU admissions and deaths, vaccination was less frequent (21.2 % of the cases) than the rest of the patients with more benign symptomatology, 29.7 % of them being vaccinated. Therefore, the effectiveness of influenza vaccination to prevent ICU admissions or death among the total people in hospital for influenza was of 23 %, and in particular, a 44 % for the group of people aged 65. "We should add the effectiveness of the vaccine to prevent the flu to these percentages. These data highlight the need of an influenza vaccine for each season for those people who are more likely to show severe types of influenza, such as people over 65, and people with other diseases, for whom the influenza vaccine was not enough to prevent the infection from appearing," note the authors.

In the study, researchers note an explanation for these results would be the role the immune system plays. "People who were previously infected by the virus or who received anti-influenza vaccines would get benefits, at least, in the pre-existing cross-reactive memory of cytotoxic T lymphocytes, which would reduce the severity of the infection, even without protective antibodies," they conclude.


Story Source:

Materials provided by University of Barcelona. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Pere Godoy, Arantxa Romero, Núria Soldevila, Nuria Torner, Mireia Jané, Ana Martínez, Joan A Caylà, Cristina Rius, Angela Domínguez. Influenza vaccine effectiveness in reducing severe outcomes over six influenza seasons, a case-case analysis, Spain, 2010/11 to 2015/16. Eurosurveillance, 2018; 23 (43) DOI: 10.2807/1560-7917.ES.2018.23.43.1700732

Cite This Page:

University of Barcelona. "Vaccination may reduce the severity of the flu in vaccinated but still infected patients." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 November 2018. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/11/181128114957.htm>.
University of Barcelona. (2018, November 28). Vaccination may reduce the severity of the flu in vaccinated but still infected patients. ScienceDaily. Retrieved June 15, 2024 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/11/181128114957.htm
University of Barcelona. "Vaccination may reduce the severity of the flu in vaccinated but still infected patients." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/11/181128114957.htm (accessed June 15, 2024).

Explore More

from ScienceDaily

RELATED STORIES