Influenza outbreaks in nursing homes pose a threat to frail residents and occur even in vaccinated populations. A pragmatic cluster-randomized trial was performed comparing adjuvanted trivalent influenza vaccine (aTIV) versus trivalent influenza vaccine (TIV). Of 823 randomized nursing homes, 777 reported information on influenza outbreaks. The treatment group had similar characteristics at baseline except for race/ethnicity; homes assigned to TIV had a higher percentage of African-American residents (18.0% versus 13.7%). There were 133 versus 162 facility-reported suspected influenza outbreaks in aTIV versus TIV facilities respectively. The aTIV group experienced a 17% reduction in suspected and laboratory-confirmed influenza outbreaks.
Most of us know the importance of administering what is referred to as the “higher potency” vaccine for seniors, but this study shows that another flu vaccine (FLUAD and FLUAD Quadrivalent) containing an adjuvant intended to improve immunity. If the High-Dose Quadrivalent vaccine is not available, this might be another option! During this crazy time of pandemic outbreaks, the last thing we need is an influenza outbreak too! Be sure your residents are offered the vaccine and that the physician is ordering the best vaccine for protecting seniors. The statistics support it, residents need it, and our communities will benefit overall!
Stay the course, get vaccinated, mask up, and stay tuned!