The recently published ‘IPVASTIA’ study (Siriwardena AN, Asghar Z, Coupland C. Influenza and pneumococcal vaccination and risk of stroke or transient ischaemic attack – matched case control study. Vaccine 2014;32 (12): 1354-1361. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2014.01.029) was one of the case studies featured on the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) ‘Focus on Stroke‘, launched at the end of February 2014.
The study was funded by the NIHR Research for Patient Benefit programme. Since its publication the findings have featured in news articles from around the world including the UK (Telegraph, Times, Pulse, Nursing in Practice, NHS Choices), United States (HNGN, Fox 7, Philly.com), South America, Europe (French Tribune), Russia and the Far East (Anninh)
The study found that the flu vaccine reduced the risk of a person having a stroke by about 25%. The reduction in risk occurred only if the vaccine was given early in the flu season (September to mid-November, was greatest within the first three months of vaccination, and persisted for up to a year.