Why immunization is vital for asthmatics

People with asthma are at high risk of severe complications from influenza – even if their asthma is mild. With their influenza more likely to develop into bronchitis or even pneumonia, asthma patients are more likely than others to end up in hospital with influenza

Patients look to healthcare professionals to help them make good choices about their health and well-being. The best way you can help asthma patients avoid catching influenza is by encouraging immunisation. After all, the influenza vaccine has been shown to be safe and to help patients avoid the influenza infection – and severe complications.

Don’t play with asthma

Influenza is a trigger for asthma. When people with asthma get influenza, the virus can worsen asthma’s chronic irritation of the bronchial mucosa. The flare-up could last for a week or more and require days off work or school. It could even trigger an asthma attack – and a visit to the emergency room.

Our primary goal is to help people lead healthy lives. Our patients, families, friends and even our colleagues rely on us to help them make good choices about their health. By motivating asthma patients to get vaccinated, we make sure they don’t need to miss work, school or stop enjoying life because of influenza.

Influenza is a serious illness

If you think influenza is not serious for people with asthma, think again:
  • Each year it attacks up to 1 in 10 adults and twice as many children.
  • Influenza is responsible for an average of 250,000 and 500,000 deaths annually.
  • Most complications and deaths are among the people with chronic conditions such as asthma.
  • Asthma is the most common underlying condition in patients hospitalised with influenza.
  • More than a quarter of patients that end up in intensive care because of influenza have underlying asthma.

Why is immunisation so important?

Influenza vaccines do work. They are already between 70 and 90% effective at preventing influenza in adults – and are improving all the time. Influenza immunisations already save 25,000 lives each year and prevent millions of influenza cases. Research has shown increasing immunisation rates reduces the number of influenza cases and, with that, the number of GP consultations, asthma exacerbations, pneumonias, hospitalisations and deaths.

But the uptake of influenza vaccination by patients with asthma is only 40% and, unlike other high-risk groups, has failed to increase in recent years. Encourage people with asthma to get immunised so they can spend more time free of their asthma symptoms, simply being themselves instead of in hospital.

Will you join us in making influenza a thing of the past?
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