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If I am an adult with cancer of any age or elderly patients with other chronic disease (such as diabetes, heart failure, COPD, cancer) does getting a flu shot reduce my chances of dying from the flu more than not getting a flu shot?


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MedHead Message:

Actual difference in death rates of elderly with chronic disease is about 4.5% absolute reduction in risk of death over not being vaccinated. Other studies have shown a range of 25-45% relative risk reduction. The bottom line for you to know is that if you have cancer of any age or chronic disease over age 65, if 100 of you get a flu shot, and 100 of you do not, there will be about five people die who would not have if they had gotten the flu shot.


1. Fireman, B. et. al. Influenza Vaccination and Mortality: Differentiating Vaccine Effects From Bias. American Journal of Epidemiology, Volume 170, Issue 5, 1 September 2009, Pages 650–656. 2. Bitterman, R. Influenza vaccines in immunosuppressed adults with cancer.Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2018 Feb 1;2:CD008983 3.Kopsaftis Z, et. al. Influenza vaccine for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2018 Jun 26;6:CD002733. 4. https://health.costhelper.com/cardiac-arrest-treatment-cost.html


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