Study: High-Dose Influenza Vaccines Reduce Hospitalizations, Costs for NH Residents

July 1, 2019

Influenza is a leading cause of avoidable and costly hospital admissions for nursing home (NH) residents. Now a study in the July issue of JAMDA suggests that the use of high-dose (HD) influenza vaccines on long-stay NH residents can reduce hospitalizations and result in lower health care expenditures.

In Cost Benefit of High-Dose vs Standard-Dose Influenza Vaccine in a Long-Term Care Population During an A/H1N1 Predominant Influenza Season, the authors examined expenditures from long-stay NH residents’ Medicare Part A, B, and D fee-for-service claims and compared expenditures between residents of facilities that offered HD versus standard-dose (SD) vaccines. Even considering that HD vaccines cost $20 more than SD, there was a net financial savings to Medicare of $526 for patients who received the higher dose. These savings, the authors noted, “are in addition to the net loss of health or healthy time experienced by individuals receiving SD instead of HD.”

In 2010, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended expanding influenza vaccinations to include all adults. This was based, the authors observed, on the “opportunity to reduce the substantial public health care burden of influenza and advance vaccine coverage.” This JAMDA study contributes to the body of literature on the cost-effectiveness of the HD influenza vaccine, particularly in older adults in the NH setting.

This study was conducted by researchers at the Brown School of Public Health Service Policy & Practice, Providence, RI; Center for Gerontology & Healthcare Research, Providence, RI; Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Providence, RI; Insight Therapeutics, LLC, Norfolk, VA; Providence Veterans Administration Hospital, Providence, RI; and Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, Toronto, Ottawa, Canada.

Click here for more information on the findings above and more details about the study. To contact the researchers or JAMDA editor for an interview, please email



JAMDA is the official journal of AMDA – The Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine. JAMDA publishes peer-reviewed articles including original studies, reviews, clinical experience articles, case reports, and more, on all topics more important to post-acute and long-term care medicine. Visit for more information.

About AMDA – The Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine
AMDA – The Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine is the only medical specialty society representing the community of over 50,000 medical directors, physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and other practitioners working in the various post-acute and long-term care (PALTC) settings. Dedicated to defining and improving quality, we advance our mission through timely professional development, evidence-based clinical guidance, and tireless advocacy on behalf of members, patients, families, and staff. Visit for more information.