Flu shot for seniors may not help much

March 4, 2012 at 1:24 AM
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TORONTO, March 4 (UPI) -- Researchers in Canada found that the seasonal flu vaccine has not had a major impact in reducing hospitalization or death among the elderly.

Kenny Wong, Dr. Jeffrey C. Kwong and colleagues at the University of Toronto examined health databases in Ontario province to examine the association between influenza vaccination and all-cause mortality among community-dwelling individuals age 65 and older for nine influenza seasons -- 2000-2001 to 2008-2009.

The researchers used instrumental variable analysis to limit confounding.

The study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine found the seasonal flu vaccination was associated with a 6 percent reduction in mortality during flu seasons -- for all causes -- which was not statistically significant.

However, the influenza vaccination was associated with reductions in hospitalizations for pneumonia and influenza, but not mortality alone, the study said.

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