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Flu vaccine cuts COPD exacerbations

Annual flu vaccination cuts respiratory problems by two-thirds in patients with COPD, an Indian study shows.

Researchers monitored 87 male patients for a year before and after immunisation. The patients had an average age of just under 65 and had never before received the flu vaccine.

Following immunisation, the incidence of acute respiratory illness and acute exacerbation of COPD fell 60% in those with mild or moderate disease and 75% in those with severe COPD. Outpatient visits fell by 50% and there was a 70% reduction in hospitalisations.

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