Influenza is a major cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Currently available inactivated influenza virus vaccines are safe and effective in preventing influenza. Substantial health benefits are seen across all age and risk groups. Studies assessing the economic benefits of vaccination suggest that vaccination is highly cost effective and in many cases cost saving among the elderly. Influenza vaccination has also been associated with significant economic benefits in younger adults and children. Additional health economic studies from developing countries and from tropical/subtropical regions will be vitally important for better understanding of the global burden of influenza and potential benefits of vaccination.