Vaccination strategies for elderly patients may not decrease mortality

March 04, 2020

In a recent study published in Annals of Internal Medicine,  Agricultural and Resource Economics  associate professor Michael Anderson examines the link between vaccination programs for elderly individuals, hospitalization, and mortality rates. Observational studies that used traditional research designs have suggested that influenza vaccination decreases morbidity and mortality within these populations; however, the new study raises questions about the efficacy of these programs, through an in-depth observational analysis.

Anderson and his co-authors focused on adults aged 55 to 75 years residing in England and Wales between 2000 and 2014. Analyzing 170 million episodes of care and 7.6 million deaths, the researchers found no evidence indicating that vaccination reduced hospitalizations or mortality among elderly persons. The study suggests that vaccination measures that prioritize elderly persons could be less effective than previously thought in addressing morbidity and mortality. The authors note that additional supplemental strategies for such programs could be beneficial. 

Read the full paper on the Annals of Internal Medicine  website