By Robert Preidt

HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, January 9, 2019 (HealthDay News) – Many doctors may be afraid to give to their patients vaccine against influenzabut a new study suggests that they can relax.

"We know the rates of hospitalization vaccination against influenza are low, often because of physicians' concerns vaccine could complicate healing or delay hospital discharge, "says study author Sara Tartof of the Kaiser Permanente Southern California Department of Research and Evaluation.

"Our results demonstrate that not vaccinating patients during hospitalization can be a missed opportunity," said Tartof in a Kaiser press release. "At present, only 28% of patients who have not been vaccinated before their hospitalization have been vaccinated before leaving the hospital."

In this study, researchers analyzed data from more than 250,000 patients aged 6 months and older, hospitalized at a Kaiser Permanente hospital in Southern California over the course of three years. influenza seasons between 2011 and 2014.

People who received a flu shot at the hospital had no increased risk of outpatient visits or readmission to the hospital seven days after leaving the hospital. They also did not have an increased risk of fever or laboratory tests for infection, the results showed.

The study also found that 74% of people who had not been vaccinated before or during their hospitalization had not been vaccinated during the influenza season.

The report was published on January 8 in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

Dr. Bruno Lewin is a family physician at the Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in Los Angeles. "This research confirms what many doctors have intuitively known for some time: Giving patients the flu vaccine during their hospitalization is convenient and, more importantly, safe."

Lewin added: "Unless contraindicated, physicians should not hesitate to vaccinate patients with influenza vaccine during hospitalization."

Previous research has also shown that operated patients who received the influenza vaccine during their stay in the hospital did not have an increased risk of complications or delay in leaving the hospital.

In addition, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that eligible inpatients receive influenza vaccine prior to discharge.

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SOURCE: Kaiser Permanente, press release, January 8, 2019

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