Sustained Within-season Vaccine Effectiveness Against Influenza-associated Hospitalization in Children: Evidence From the New Vaccine Surveillance Network, 2015-2016 Through 2019-2020.

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DOI: 10.1093/cid/ciac577


BACKGROUND: Adult studies have demonstrated within-season declines in influenza vaccine effectiveness (VE); data in children are limited.

METHODS: We conducted a prospective, test-negative study of children 6 months through 17 years hospitalized with acute respiratory illness at 7 pediatric medical centers during the 2015-2016 through 2019-2020 influenza seasons. Case-patients were children with an influenza-positive molecular test matched by illness onset to influenza-negative control-patients. We estimated VE [100% × (1 - odds ratio)] by comparing the odds of receipt of ≥1 dose of influenza vaccine ≥14 days before illness onset among influenza-positive children to influenza-negative children. Changes in VE over time between vaccination date and illness onset date were estimated using multivariable logistic regression.

RESULTS: Of 8430 children, 4653 (55%) received ≥1 dose of influenza vaccine. On average, 48% were vaccinated through October and 85% through December each season. Influenza vaccine receipt was lower in case-patients than control-patients (39% vs 57%, P < .001); overall VE against hospitalization was 53% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 46, 60%). Pooling data across 5 seasons, the odds of influenza-associated hospitalization increased 4.2% (-3.2%, 12.2%) per month since vaccination, with an average VE decrease of 1.9% per month (n = 4000, P = .275). Odds of hospitalization increased 2.9% (95% CI: -5.4%, 11.8%) and 9.6% (95% CI: -7.0%, 29.1%) per month in children ≤8 years (n = 3084) and 9-17 years (n = 916), respectively. These findings were not statistically significant.

CONCLUSIONS: We observed minimal, not statistically significant within-season declines in VE. Vaccination following current Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) guidelines for timing of vaccine receipt remains the best strategy for preventing influenza-associated hospitalizations in children.

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Clinical infectious diseases : an official publication of the Infectious Diseases Society of America





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MeSH Keywords

Adult; Child; Humans; Influenza, Human; Influenza Vaccines; Seasons; Prospective Studies; Vaccine Efficacy; Case-Control Studies; Vaccination; Hospitalization; Influenza A Virus, H3N2 Subtype


case control; influenza; pediatrics; vaccination

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