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Vaccination Plays a Crucial Role in Reducing Inappropriate Antibiotic Use


James S. Lewis, PharmD, FIDSA, Co-Director of Antibiotic Stewardship, Oregon Health and Science University, discusses the role vaccination plays in reducing unnecessary antibiotic use.

Interview Transcript (modified slightly for readability):

"Vaccination is massive in preventing inappropriate antibiotic use because if you don’t get sick, you don’t think you need an antibiotic. The flu vaccine—rightly or wrongly—has a very bad rap for how ineffective it is; oh, it’s only 60% effective. Sixty percent effective is still a whole heck of a lot better than zero percent effective. And when folks end up with the flu, far too often, incorrectly, they end up with an antibiotic prescription. Pneumococcal vaccines are another great example of an area where vaccines have the potential to prevent diseases that lead then to subsequent antibiotic use, which then leads to the development of resistance. So, I think vaccination has got to be a core piece of any sort of strategy to try to minimize antibiotic use in the long run because you don’t need antibiotics if you don’t get sick, and that’s what vaccines are really here to do."
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