P2. Immunisations

P2.1 Influenza immunisation

Influenza immunisation reduces the risk of exacerbations, hospitalisation and death (Nichol 1994Poole 2006) [evidence level I].

Annual influenza immunisation reduces by about 50% the development of severe respiratory complications and hospi­talisation or death from both respiratory disease and all causes (Nichol 1994Poole 2006) [evidence level I]. The vaccine used in Aus­tralia does not contain a live virus and cannot cause an infection. Adverse effects include a sore arm the following day and possibly a mild fever and arthralgia at five to eight days caused by the immune response. The vaccine usually con­tains three strains (2A and 1B), which are adjusted annually based on epidemiological data. It should be given in early autumn to all patients with moderate to severe COPD (Nichol 1994Poole 2006). A second immunisation in winter increases antibody levels (Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease 2017).