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January 17, 2001

Influenza Vaccine for Healthy Working Adults

Author Affiliations

Stephen J.LurieMD, PhD, Senior EditorIndividualAuthor

JAMA. 2001;285(3):290-292. doi:10.1001/jama.285.3.290

To the Editor: Dr Bridges and colleagues1 found that provision of influenza vaccination to healthy working adults did not provide significant economic benefits. However, their findings should be applied to other settings with caution.

The trial was adequately sized and carefully executed. During year 1, however, there was a poor vaccine–circulating virus strain match. Vaccine efficacy was 50% (P = .33) against laboratory-confirmed influenza illness, but vaccine recipients otherwise tended to fare worse than placebo recipients. It is difficult to interpret these findings, given the impressive safety record of this vaccine and numerous studies demonstrating its clinical effectiveness. In year 2 there was a good vaccine–circulating virus match. Vaccine efficacy was 86%, and vaccination reduced clinical outcomes. However, net vaccination costs were $11.17 per person.