Influenza Vaccine Effectiveness Among Children 6 to 59 Months of Age During 2 Influenza Seasons: A Case-Cohort Study | Geriatrics | JAMA Pediatrics | JAMA Network
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October 6, 2008

Influenza Vaccine Effectiveness Among Children 6 to 59 Months of Age During 2 Influenza Seasons: A Case-Cohort Study

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Department of Pediatrics, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, Rochester, New York (Drs Szilagyi and Lofthus and Ms Ambrose); Center for Epidemiology and Biostatistics (Drs Fairbrother, Hornung, Morrow, and Altaye and Ms Donauer) and Division of Infectious Diseases (Dr Staat), Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Cincinnati, Ohio; Departments of Preventive Medicine (Dr Griffin and Mr Holloway), Medicine (Dr Griffin), Biostatistics (Dr Zhu), and Pediatric Clinical Research Office (Dr Edwards), Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, Tennessee; Department of Pediatrics, Wake Forest University Medical Center, Winston-Salem, North Carolina (Dr Poehling); and the National Immunization Program, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia (Drs Finelli and Iwane).Group Information: A list of New Vaccine Surveillance Network partners appears at

Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2008;162(10):943-951. doi:10.1001/archpedi.162.10.943

Objective  To measure vaccine effectiveness (VE) in preventing influenza-related health care visits among children aged 6 to 59 months during 2 consecutive influenza seasons.

Design  Case-cohort study estimating effectiveness of inactivated influenza vaccine in preventing inpatient/outpatient visits (emergency department [ED] and outpatient clinic). We compared vaccination status of laboratory-confirmed influenza cases with a cluster sample of children from a random sample of practices in 3 counties (subcohort) during the 2003-2004 and 2004-2005 seasons.

Setting  Counties encompassing Rochester, New York, Nashville, Tennessee, and Cincinnati, Ohio.

Participants  Children aged 6 to 59 months seen in inpatient/ED or outpatient clinic settings for acute respiratory illnesses and community-based subcohort comparison.

Main Exposure  Influenza vaccination.

Main Outcome Measures  Influenza vaccination status of cases vs subcohort using time-dependent Cox proportional hazards models to estimate VE in preventing inpatient/ED and outpatient visits.

Results  During the 2003-2004 and 2004-2005 seasons, 165 and 80 inpatient/ED and 74 and 95 outpatient influenza cases were enrolled, while more than 4500 inpatient/ED and more than 600 outpatient subcohorts were evaluated, respectively. In bivariate analyses, cases had lower vaccination rates than subcohorts. However, significant influenza VE could not be demonstrated for any season, age, or setting after adjusting for county, sex, insurance, chronic conditions recommended for influenza vaccination, and timing of influenza vaccination (VE estimates ranged from 7%-52% across settings and seasons for fully vaccinated 6- to 59-month-olds).

Conclusion  In 2 seasons with suboptimal antigenic match between vaccines and circulating strains, we could not demonstrate VE in preventing influenza-related inpatient/ED or outpatient visits in children younger than 5 years. Further study is needed during years with good vaccine match.