Please remember! Kiel doctors show how to increase the vaccination rate of the chronically ill

08.08.2019 12:03

Please remember! Kiel doctors show how to increase the vaccination rate of the chronically ill

Seasonal flu is particularly dangerous for people with chronic diseases. Nevertheless, less than half of people with chronic kidney failure and only about 13% of those with chronic lung disease receive an influenza vaccine. This has been demonstrated by the doctors of the Department of Internal Medicine IV specializing in kidney and hypertension diseases of the Schleswig-Holstein University Hospital (UKSH), Campus Kiel, in a study recently published in the Deutsches Ärzteblatt.

Teacher. Dr. Thorsten Feldkamp, ​​Chief Medical Officer and dr. Kevin Schulte, specialist and first author of the study, studied the effectiveness of memory systems on the willingness to take the flu shot, for example in the group of people with chronic kidney disease. Previous studies have shown that rarely informed or misinformed patients are not vaccinated. Many campaigns are therefore informative. However, doctors at the university hospital were able to prove that a change in attitude towards immunization was apparently not necessary. "The fact is that we have to remind patients to vaccinate, and then they go to the doctor," says Professor Feldkamp.

The calls for vaccination only had an effect if they were addressed personally to the population. The letters from the treating physicians proved more effective for their patients, reminding them of the next flu shot. "In the future, however, statutory health insurance could play an important role here," explain the authors of the study. "These could deliberately and effectively recall vaccinations to people at risk." Vaccination education would be individualized for the first time on a large scale.

The German Society of Nephrology immediately responded to this study by announcing a vaccination campaign aimed at improving the care provided to patients with chronic kidney failure – "which we welcome a lot," said Dr. Schulte.

People with chronic diseases have an increased risk of developing a serious or fatal infection during the disease. The Permanent Vaccination Commission (STIKO) therefore recommends that they be vaccinated every year. However, the vaccination rate has decreased considerably in recent years. In people with chronic renal failure, it ranged between 41.1 and 46.9%. Even people over the age of 60, many of whom have chronic illnesses, are generally not adequately protected from the flu. In this age group, only 35% have been vaccinated recently – in 2008, they were still half.

Scientific contact:

University Hospital Schleswig-Holstein, Campus Kiel
Department of Internal Medicine IV with a focus on kidney disease and hypertension
Dr. Kevin Schulte, Phone: 0431 500-23001, Email:

Original publication:

Schulte K, Schierke H, Tamayo M, Hager L, Engehausen R, Raspe M, Hübner RH, Schlieper G, Borzikowsky C, Urbschat A, Auerswald S, Kunzendorf U, Feldkamp T: Strategies to improve influenza vaccination rates at patients with chronic kidney disease results from two randomized controlled trials and a prospective prospective study. Dtsch Arztebl Int 2019; 116: 413-9. DOI: 10.3238 / arztebl.2019.0413

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