P2. Immunisations

P2.1 Influenza immunisation

Vaccination reduces the risks associated with influenza and pneumococcal infection [evidence level I, strong recommendation].

In people aged 65 years and older, annual influenza immunisation may lower the risk of influenza and probably lowers the risk of influenza-like illness (Demicheli 2018). A Cochrane systematic review has shown that in people with COPD, inactivated influenza vaccine reduced the total number of exacerbations per vaccinated person, compared to placebo (mean difference -0.37, 95% CI -0.64 to -0.11, n=180 patients; rated as low quality evidence due to only 2 RCTs) (Kopsaftis 2018) [evidence level I]. There was no change in rates of hospital admission or mortality. Adverse effects are mild, local, transient and self-limiting and include sore arm, mild fever and arthralgia. Please see the link to The Australian Immunisation Handbook on the NHMRC’s website for the latest details about available vaccines and timing of influenza vaccination: https://immunisationhandbook.health.gov.au/.