Category Archives: Infections

Side effects of Influenza vaccination

As we head into another influenza season we are trying to improve our hospital staff vaccination rates. The goal of vaccinating hospital staff is two fold. First to keep the staff from getting influenza themselves and second by keeping the staff from getting ill they do not become involuntary spreaders of disease to hospitalized patients. Thereby protecting the chronically ill patients at the hospital. The second reason described is often forgotten and overlooked. I cannot begin to count the number of times I have been told that they do not need a flu shot because they don’t sick from the “flu”.

Remember it is more about protecting patients, the weak and infirm who may not have the ability to tolerate a respiratory tract infection

After that discussion the next heard is concerns over vaccinating patients and how the vaccine can or will make them ill. Often cited is a concern that a post vaccination fever is not discern able from a post op fever. Archives of Internal Medicine published this study in 1996 by Nichol et al. The study, a randomized placebo controlled prospective trial looked at the number of symptoms including minor ones such as injection site pain and fever post vaccination compared to placebo. Their findings include that fever post vaccination is no more common than placebo.

Reference
JAMA Network | Archives of Internal Medicine | Side Effects Associated With Influenza Vaccination in Healthy Working AdultsA Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Trial.

CDC – Seasonal Influenza Flu – Adverse Events After Receipt of TIV

Update on the 2010-11 annual influenza vaccination season related adverse effects.

Some of the notable highlights include no increase in febrile seizures in children, no increase in post vaccine fever in adults when compared to placebo (the main hesitation to give it in hospitalized patients).

Anaphylaxis or immediate hypersensitivity is estimated to be rare (1.5 case per million doses) No cases of anaphylaxis was reported in the 2010-11 season.

Botton line: adverse events related to trivalent influenza vaccine (TIV) are very rare for all age groups. It is a safe and cost effective means to reduce influenza related morbidity and mortality.

Reference:

CDC – Seasonal Influenza Flu – Adverse Events After Receipt of TIV.