To the Editor.
—Vaccination against influenza has proven effective in reducing influenza-related hospitalizations and deaths among high-risk populations. A recent meta-analysis estimated that vaccine efficacy was 50% for reducing hospitalizations among vaccinated individuals during epidemic years.1 Despite these findings, influenza vaccination is underused, with recent estimates suggesting that only 52% of high-risk individuals received vaccinations during the 1993 season.2 In 1995, the Health Care Financing Administration provided the nation's professional review organizations with beneficiary-level data on influenza vaccination.3 Professional review organizations are using this data to develop hospital-, community-, and physician-based projects that will enhance vaccination rates.To evaluate missed opportunities to vaccinate elderly patients, we determined influenza vaccination rates occurring in a cohort of individuals hospitalized during the 1994 vaccination season in Ohio. We used influenza vaccination billing data and information obtained from the dataset containing all Medicare hospitalizations in the state. From October 1 through
Snow R, Fuerst R. Hospital-Based Influenza Vaccination Programs. JAMA. 1996;275(14):1088. doi:10.1001/jama.1996.03530380030026