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Influenza viruses have long been a major global public health problem. In particular, sudden shifts in influenza strains can result in global pandemics, as recently experienced with 2009 Influenza A (H1N1). When the WHO declared an end to the pandemic in August 2010, >18 000 deaths had been attributed to 2009 H1N1.1 This number was thankfully much lower than initially feared, but concern persists of a future recurrence of the 1918 ‘Spanish flu’ pandemic that resulted in an estimated 50 million global deaths.2
Influenza vaccination is considered the most effective method to lessen the public health impact of influenza. Among healthy adults, influenza vaccination has been shown to be safe, reduce influenza symptoms and reduce working days lost.3 However, influenza vaccination is poorly studied in those with immunocompromise.
In their paper published in Gut (in press), Rahier and colleagues provide novel new data regarding influenza vaccination in an immunocompromised patient population—patients with inflammatory bowel disease …