Home CHEST Thought Leaders Effectiveness of Influenza Vaccination on Hospitalizations and Risk Factors for Severe Outcomes in Hospitalized Patients With COPD Q&A With Co-Author Sunita Mulpuru, MD

Effectiveness of Influenza Vaccination on Hospitalizations and Risk Factors for Severe Outcomes in Hospitalized Patients With COPD Q&A With Co-Author Sunita Mulpuru, MD

By: Vanessa Claude

1. What effect do you hope the findings of this study will have on initiatives to increase influenza vaccination and antiviral use among patients with COPD?

We would hope that increased awareness of the poor outcomes associated with influenza infection in the COPD population will encourage patients and their close contacts to protect themselves with the influenza vaccination each season.

Further, we hope these findings support public health initiatives to ensure that the influenza vaccine is readily available for patients with COPD to increase the uptake.

These study results should also encourage physicians to test patients with COPD for influenza upon hospital admission during the winter season. If influenza positive, antiviral therapies should be initiated at the time of admission in keeping with the current recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

2. What are some factors that could enhance this study further?

In this study we did not test patients for other non-influenza viruses, and this could have been of interest (with respect to the cause for hospitalization).

We also did not study the frequency of bacterial pneumonia (and the type of bacterial pneumonia) in patients who were influenza positive. Bacterial pneumonia is a common complication of influenza infection.

Lastly, of the 34% of patients who were not vaccinated in this study, it would be interesting to know the reasons why they did not receive the influenza vaccine. Further, if patients were aware of the potential serious consequences of influenza infection (as seen in this study), it would be interesting to know whether this would change their decision to receive the vaccine.

3. Are there any findings that you’d like to expand on in the future? And what results would you like to find?

Understanding the factors that drive influenza vaccine uptake in this vulnerable patient population could help us explore different knowledge translation initiatives to improve vaccination rates among patients with COPD.

Read the full article: “Effectiveness of Influenza Vaccination on Hospitalizations and Risk Factors for Severe Outcomes in Hospitalized Patients With COPD.

Dr. Sunita MulpuruDr. Sunita Mulpuru is a pulmonologist at The Ottawa Hospital in Ottawa, Canada, Associate Scientist, and Assistant Professor at the University of Ottawa. Her research interests include respiratory viral infections and improving models of care for frail patients with COPD.