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Objectives: Annual influenza vaccinations are recommended for asthma patients to prevent seasonal influenza and influenza-triggered asthma exacerbations. However, data on the beneficial effect of this vaccine on the frequency of asthma exacerbations are conflicting. Therefore, this study aimed to assess the effectiveness of the influenza vaccine in terms of reducing the frequency of asthma-related exacerbations and upper respiratory tract infections among adult patients with asthma. Methods: This retrospective cohort study was performed from January to December 2018 in Muscat Governorate, Oman. A total of 466 patients attending 9 randomly selected primary health centres in Muscat Governorate were enrolled in the study and followed up for one year post vaccination. Results: Most of the patients were female (70.6%) and had moderate persistent asthma (42.9%). There were 203 patients (43.6%) in the vaccinated group and 263 patients (56.4%) in the non-vaccinated group. A proportion of patients in each group had allergic rhinitis (28.6% and 25.5%, respectively). The frequency of upper respiratory tract infections over the one-year follow-up period was significantly lower in the vaccinated group than in the non-vaccinated group (37.9% versus 73%; relative risk [RR]: 2.299; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.834–2.882; P <0.001); however, there was no significant difference in terms of the frequency of asthma exacerbations (41.9% versus 45.2%; RR: 0.925; 95% CI: 0.750–1.141; P >0.050). Conclusion: The influenza vaccine significantly reduces the frequency of upper respiratory tract infections over the following year. However, it does not significantly reduce the frequency of asthma exacerbations among Omani adults with asthma. Further studies are recommended to support the protective effect of the vaccine in this regard.

Keywords: Influenza Vaccines; Immunization; Asthma; Upper Respiratory Tract Infections; Observational Study; Oman.

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How to Cite
Al Kharusi, Z., Al Kalbani, R. ., & Al-Hadhrami, R. (2024). Frequency of Asthma Exacerbations and Upper Respiratory Tract Infections Among Adults With Asthma According to Vaccination Status: Does the annual influenza vaccine have a protective effect?. Sultan Qaboos University Medical Journal, 24(1), 70–75.

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