Author(s): Yee SS, Dutta PR, Solin LJ, Vapiwala N, Kao GD
Abstract Share this page
Abstract Cancer patients are at increased risk for potentially life-threatening infections. Patient safety goals recently issued by the Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) and current Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines recommend vaccinations for all cancer patients over the age of 65 (for Pneumococcus) and 50 years of age (annually, for Influenza). The authors investigated vaccination practices in patients over a season of risk at a university-based outpatient cancer treatment clinic. Of 204 patients recruited, 196 (93\%) completed the survey. Overall, 30\% of patients reported never receiving the Influenza vaccine (33\% of patients >50 years old), and 56\% reported never receiving the Pneumococcal vaccine (30\% of patients >65 years old). Only 7\% of patients reported being asked or informed about vaccination by their oncologists. Substantial proportions of patients undergoing cancer treatment have not received vaccinations as recommended by national guidelines. The reasons cited for lack of compliance seem correctable, and doing so would potentially prevent mortality and morbidity, thereby improving the care of cancer patients. Recommended vaccinations may now include that for the Influenza A virus (H1N1).
This article was published in J Support Oncol
and referenced in Virology & Mycology