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The Impact of Influenza Vaccination in Patients with Cancer on Subsequent Disease during the 2013-2014 Influenza Season

Session: Poster Abstract Session: Viral Infections: Epidemiology
Friday, October 10, 2014
Room: The Pennsylvania Convention Center: IDExpo Hall BC
Background: Patients with cancer may experience higher morbidity and mortality from influenza infection. Influenza vaccination is universally used for prevention; however, effectiveness in patients with cancer may be suboptimal but its impact on severity of illness is yet to be determined. 

Methods: A phone survey for cancer patients with laboratory confirmed influenza (LCI) was carried out during the influenza season 2013-2014 to determine impact on clinical outcomes including hospitalization, intensive care unit stay and death. 

Results: A total of 105 out 139 adults with LCI participated in the phone survey at a rate of 77%. A total of 47 (45%) were vaccinated and 58 (55%) were not and their baseline characteristics were similar. Median age was 57 y.o. (21 - 88) while 61% were male and 59% were Caucasians. Most common underlying conditions were hematopoietic cell transplant (51%), solid tumors (19%) and leukemia (14%). On multivariable analysis, patients who progressed to pneumonia were more likely to be neutropenic, were older, had delay in diagnosis from symptoms onset, and did not receive oseltamivir at upper respiratory tract infection stage (all p<0.05). Vaccination status had no significant impact on progression to pneumonia or mortality. 

Conclusion: In our cohort, almost half of the patients who had influenza were vaccinated. Interestingly, influenza vaccination during the current season did not have an impact on the severity of illness including incidence of pneumonia, hospitalization or mortality rates in our cancer patients. Although not determined in this study, vaccination may have protected our cancer patients from acquiring influenza.

Jacques Azzi, MD, Ella Ariza-Heredia, MD, Dimpy P. Shah, MD, MSPH, PhD, Lior Nesher, M.D., Shashank S. Ghantoji, MD, MPH, Lamprinos Michailidis, MD, Lisa Marsh, MA, RN, and Roy F. Chemaly, MD, MPH, FIDSA, FACP, Infectious Diseases, Infection Control and Employee Health, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX


J. Azzi, None

E. Ariza-Heredia, None

D. P. Shah, None

L. Nesher, None

S. S. Ghantoji, None

L. Michailidis, None

L. Marsh, None

R. F. Chemaly, None

Findings in the abstracts are embargoed until 12:01 a.m. EDT, Oct. 8th with the exception of research findings presented at the IDWeek press conferences.

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