By Peter A. McCullough, MD, MPH
Clinical concerns over both COVID-19 and influenza should have remained on the vulnerable elderly population, particularly those in senior centers. Instead we have seen a two-year media blitz on vaccinating young healthy working age persons and children. Portmann and colleagues published a sobering report on hospitalized cases of Omicron and Influenza A/B infections in Switzerland. The in-hospital mortality rates were 7.0 and 4.4% with 8.5 and 15.3% incurring cardiovascular events in the SARS-CoV-2 and Influenza A/B groups, respectively. This translated into nearly identical outcomes (ICU admission and death) at 30 days in both groups. There appeared to be no impact of antecedent vaccination for either disease but for different reasons. The COVID-19 vaccinations failed to stop hospitalization with the majority having been immunized. There was no statistical difference in death among those vaccinated verses not, 7.2 vs 9.3%, p=0.05, respectively. Influenza vaccination appeared to have no impact because of very poor utilization (10%) with considerable missing data.
Portmann failed to report on the most important variable in both conditions—prehospital care. Use of early multidrug therapy and home/senior center care are the only interventions that can reduce the risk of hospitalization and death. We cannot rely on vaccination to help in our seniors and must shift the focus to care in the prehospital phase of respiratory illness.
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Portmann L, de Kraker MEA, Fröhlich G, et al. Hospital Outcomes of Community-Acquired SARS-CoV-2 Omicron Variant Infection Compared With Influenza Infection in Switzerland. JAMA Netw Open. 2023;6(2):e2255599. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2022.55599