UCLA Fielding School of Public Health research demonstrates the importance of influenza vaccination globally

Oct. 6, 2022
Shows immunization reduced odds of ICU-level hospitalization for children by almost 50%.

An international team of researchers has demonstrated that among patients hospitalized for influenza, those who were vaccinated had less severe infections, including reducing the odds for children requiring admittance to an intensive care unit by almost half.

In addition, the researchers found that deaths among hospitalized adults, 65 or older, who had been vaccinated were 38% lower compared to those who had not been vaccinated.

Globally, influenza contributes to 9.5 million hospitalizations, 81.5 million hospital days, and 145,000 deaths each year. Vaccination offers the best method of preventing influenza illness, reducing illness in the general population by 40–60%, experts say.

Specifically, The Lancet analysis found that three groups routinely targeted for influenza vaccination experiences less severe illness. Children who had received only part of their first series of influenza vaccines had 36% lower chances of being admitted to an intensive care unit (ICU), and children who had fully completed their first series of influenza vaccines had 48% lower chances of admission to ICU compared to unvaccinated children, the researchers found.

The study examined influenza-related hospitalization rates and outcomes across all four countries from 2013-19. Specifically, the analysts reviewed the outcomes for some 2,747 patients hospitalized with confirmed influenza virus infection, in three age groups – children aged 6–24 months, adults aged 18–64 years, and adults aged 65 years or older.

UCLA release