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Gerontology. 2007;53(6):382-7. Epub 2007 Jul 5.

Influenza and pneumococcal vaccine coverages in geriatric health care settings in france.

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Département de Médicine Gériatrique et Communautaire, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Grenoble, Grenoble, France.



Annual immunization with influenza vaccine is effective in preventing influenza-associated mortality and morbidity in the elderly. Pneumococcal vaccination is also considered as an effective strategy to decrease pneumococcal-associated diseases and mortality, particularly in the geriatric health care setting. However, in France, influenza and pneumococcal vaccination coverage in senior citizens living in long-term care facilities has not been comprehensively evaluated.


A prospective multicenter study was conducted to measure influenza and pneumococcal vaccine coverage and to assess the existence of local recommendations and the reasons for reluctance to immunize patients in geriatric health care settings in France. Two questionnaires were developed: the initial questionnaire to record the demographic characteristics of patients in health care facilities and to note influenza and pneumococcal vaccine coverage, and a second questionnaire, sent to all responders in June 2003, to record the number and causes of death (December 2002 to April 2003). Questions about the reasons for non-vaccination were added to all settings which had pneumococcal or influenza vaccination coverages below the median levels in the first query.


105 health care facilities measuring vaccine coverage in 7,882 elderly patients participated in the study. Of 105 units, 9 were acute care units (n = 203 patients), 22 rehabilitation care units (n = 923), 68 long-term care facilities (n = 6,458), and 6 nursing homes (n = 315). The median and mean age of patients was 83 (SD 3.5) years. Influenza and pneumococcal vaccine rates were 87.7% (median 90%, range 0-100%) and 21.9% (median 2.8%, range 0-100%), respectively. There were significant differences between the type of setting and wide variability. There was no correlation between vaccine coverage and local recommendations. Mortality was 15.2% and was negatively correlated with influenza vaccine. The reasons for non-vaccination evaluated in 20 units differed for influenza and pneumococcal vaccine.


Influenza vaccine coverage is high in long-term care settings but not in other settings. Pneumococcal vaccine coverage is very low in most settings, in part because of the lack of positive recommendations in France. Annual vaccination records are needed and should be a goal for the National Health Care Department. In addition, reasons for failure to administer both vaccines should be precisely evaluated on large populations to improve vaccination coverage.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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