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Are younger COPD patients adequately vaccinated for influenza and pneumococcus?

Published:September 14, 2022DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rmed.2022.106988

      Highlights

      • We show influenza and pneumococcal immunization rates in Greek COPD patients <65.
      • Only 40.2% were vaccinated for influenza and 32.5% for pneumococcus.
      • We report the parameters that positively associate with increased vaccination likelihood.
      • In Greek COPD patients <65 increased health promotion for vaccination is needed.

      Abstract

      Influenza and pneumococcal pneumonia are major causes of increased morbidity and mortality among elderly and COPD patients. Vaccines against influenza and pneumococcus are recommended for COPD patients according to GOLD 2020 guidelines to prevent serious illnesses. Despite their high morbidity and mortality burden, the vaccination coverage rates remain far below the WHO's recommended targets. In Greece, there are insufficient data on influenza and pneumococcal immunization rates among younger COPD patients. This study investigated whether COPD patients under the age of 65 are adequately vaccinated against influenza and pneumococcus and the factors that influence vaccination rates. 1100 individuals at 22 Primary Health Centers in Central Greece participated in a two-year spirometry monitoring program. Face-to-face interviews were used to collect information regarding demographics, smoking status, comorbidities, respiratory illnesses in the previous two years, and influenza and pneumococcal vaccination coverage from all COPD patients. 117 patients aged 40–65 years old were diagnosed with COPD and 80.3% were males. Only 40.2% of them had received influenza and 32.5% pneumococcus vaccinations. Age, advanced stage of COPD, years on COPD diagnosis, respiratory infection within the previous two years, comorbidity, and smoking cessation are all positively connected with influenza and pneumococcus vaccine coverage in younger COPD patients. Gender, education level, and marital status did not affect influenza and pneumococcus vaccination rates. These vaccination rates among younger COPD patients demonstrate the need for increased awareness and knowledge about the advantages of immunizations in lowering morbidity and mortality.

      Keywords

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