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Small Increase Seen in Risk for Subdeltoid Bursitis With Flu Shot

Attributable risk was 7.78 additional cases of subdeltoid bursitis per million persons vaccinated

TUESDAY, June 23, 2020 (HealthDay News) — There is a small increased risk for subdeltoid bursitis after influenza vaccination, according to a study published online June 23 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Elisabeth M. Hesse, M.D., from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, and colleagues conducted a retrospective cohort study to estimate the risk for subdeltoid bursitis after influenza vaccination. Administrative data were searched for persons with a shoulder bursitis diagnostic code within 180 days after receiving an injectable influenza vaccine in the same arm to identify potential incident cases. The incidence rate ratio of bursitis was calculated in a risk interval zero to two days after vaccination compared to a control interval of 30 to 60 days.

Data were included for 2,943,493 vaccinated persons. The researchers identified 16 and 51 cases of symptom onset in the risk and control intervals, respectively, for an incidence rate ratio of 3.24. The median patient age was 57.5 years in the risk interval; 69 percent of cases were women. Per million persons vaccinated, the attributable risk was 7.78 additional cases of bursitis.

“In public health and individual patient decision making, the risks for adverse events, such as subdeltoid bursitis, must be weighed against the benefits of vaccination to prevent influenza infection and its complications,” the authors write. “Strategies to prevent this adverse event, which may include improved education and training about proper vaccination technique, need to be identified and implemented.”

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