Flu Shots May Not Help Asthma

Pharmacy Times, Volume 0, 0

Researchers evaluated 800 children with asthma, half of whomreceived flu shots while the other half did not, and found that thegroup who received the flu shots had a significantly higher risk ofasthma-related visits to a clinic or emergency department. It waspreviously thought that flu vaccinations would lessen the exacerbationof asthma in children?in fact, flu shots are recommendedfor asthmatic children. Surprised researchers continue to seekexplanations for these results, theorizing that perhaps childrenwith more severe asthma are more likely to receive flu vaccinations,which would lead to a higher incidence of clinical visits inthis group. Dr. Cynthia Christy of Rochester General Hospital concluded,"While this disturbing result does not show harm from theinfluenza vaccine, it is suggestive enough to warrant future study.It appears that a long-term, prospective controlled trial may beneeded." The full study appears in the August 2004 issue of theArchives of Disease in Childhood.