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Influenza: A Serious Problem for People with Asthma

Graph showing flu shot coverage among adults with asthma increase 25 percent since 2001

  • Influenza can be very dangerous for people with asthma. The influenza virus is associated with serious illness and even death. During influenza outbreaks, there tends to be an increase in pneumonia cases and a high rate of influenza hospitalizations.
  • However, some scientists were concerned that the vaccine may actually induce asthma episodes in some patients.
  • The American Lung Association funded a study to address this concern. The findings, published by The New England Journal of Medicine (November 2001) showed that the influenza vaccine is safe for both children and adults with asthma, regardless of the severity of their asthma.
  • Flu vaccination increased 25 percent among adults with asthma in the ten years after the results of the study were published.

    Reviewed and approved by the American Lung Association Scientific and Medical Editorial Review Panel. Last reviewed June 5, 2018.

    Page Last Updated: June 15, 2018

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