When a patient with pneumonia is admitted to the hospital, a flu shot can reduce the risk for readmission and death, report investigators.

Pneumonia accounts for 50% of deaths during the flu season, but the influenza vaccine is underused, said Kam Sing Ho, MD, from Mount Sinai St. Luke’s and Mount Sinai West in New York City.

“We already know the benefit of vaccination. It doesn’t require weight loss, exercise, or medication, just a discussion,” he told Medscape Medical News.

“We are missing out on a good opportunity to offer the flu vaccine,” he explained at CHEST 2019 in New Orleans. “If someone is in the hospital for 5 or 6 days, we should be having the vaccine discussion at least once.”

 

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