Scientific Papers

Influenza vaccination in older adults and patients with chronic disorders: A position paper from the Portuguese Society of Pulmonology, the Portuguese Society of Cardiology, the Portuguese Society of Diabetology, the Portuguese Society of Infectious Disea

Influenza affects millions of people worldwide each year and can lead to severe complications, hospitalizations, and even death, especially among vulnerable populations such as older adults and those with chronic medical conditions. Annual vaccination is considered the most effective measure for preventing influenza and its complications. Despite the widespread availability of influenza vaccines, however, vaccination coverage rates remain suboptimal in several countries. Based on the latest scientific evidence and expert opinions on influenza vaccination in older people and patients with chronic disease, the Portuguese Society of Pulmonology (SPP), the Portuguese Society of Diabetology (SPD), the Portuguese Society of Cardiology (SPC), the Portuguese Society of Geriatrics and Gerontology (SPGG), the Study Group of Geriatrics of the Portuguese Society of Internal Medicine (NEGERMI-SPMI), and the Portuguese Society of Infectious Diseases and Clinical Microbiology (SPDIMC) discussed best practices for promoting vaccination uptake and coverage and drew up several recommendations to mitigate the impact of influenza. These recommendations focus on the efficacy and safety of available vaccines; the impact of influenza vaccination on older adults; patients with chronic medical conditions, namely cardiac and respiratory conditions, diabetes, and immunosuppressive diseases; and health care professionals, optimal vaccination timing, and strategies to increase vaccination uptake and coverage. The resulting position paper highlights the critical role that vaccinations play in promoting public health, raising awareness, and encouraging more people to get vaccinated.