Background: Influenza vaccination is widely recommended every year to protect individuals against influenza virus infection and illness. There are few published estimates of influenza vaccine effectiveness against hospitalization in children or from subtropical regions.
Methods: We conducted a test-negative year-round study between October 2009 and September 2013, recruiting children 6 months to 17 years of age admitted to two hospitals in Hong Kong with a febrile acute respiratory infection. Cases were tested for influenza A and B and conditional logistic regression was used to estimate vaccine effectiveness comparing influenza vaccination history of the trivalent influenza vaccine (TIV) among patients testing positive versus negative for influenza, adjusting for age and sex and matching by calendar week of recruitment.
Results: Overall vaccine effectiveness against hospitalization with laboratory-confirmed influenza A and B was estimated to be 61.7% (95% CI: 43.0%, 74.2%). The estimated vaccine effectiveness against A(H3N2) was 36.6% (95% CI: -25.5%, 67.9%) compared to 71.5% (95% CI: 39.4%, 86.6%) for A(H1N1)pdm09 and 68.8% (95% CI: 41.6%, 83.3%) for B.
Conclusions: Vaccine effectiveness against hospitalization in children varied from year to year, but was moderate to high overall even in an area with influenza activity throughout the year.
Keywords: Children; Effectiveness; Hospitalization; Influenza; Vaccine.
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