June 1996

Influenza A Vaccine and the Incidence of Otitis Media

Author Affiliations

3418 Stevens St Madison, WI 53705

Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 1996;150(6):652. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1996.02170310086024

It would be wonderful if we had an immunization against otitis, so I was very interested to read the article by Clements et al1 in the October 1995 issue of the Archives. However, the title of the article, "Influenza A Vaccine Decreases the Incidence of Otitis Media in 6- to 30-Month-Old Children in Day Care," is somewhat misleading, because the data only indicate a "decreased incidence of otitis media during the influenza season" [emphasis added].

Looking at the numbers in Table 2,1(p1115) one may find that before and after influenza season, the vaccinated group had more cases of acute and serous otitis than did the controls. Looking at acute otitis media overall, for the full duration of the study, one may see no difference at all between the vaccinated and control populations: both had an incidence of 0.25. (Comparing column 1 with Non-1 (28+22+25=75 and 23+36+16=75, respectively) and

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