Interim 2019/20 influenza vaccine effectiveness: six European studies, September 2019 to January 2020

Euro Surveill. 2020 Mar;25(10):2000153. doi: 10.2807/1560-7917.ES.2020.25.10.2000153.


BackgroundInfluenza A(H1N1)pdm09, A(H3N2) and B viruses were co-circulating in Europe between September 2019 and January 2020.AimTo provide interim 2019/20 influenza vaccine effectiveness (VE) estimates from six European studies, covering 10 countries and both primary care and hospital settings.MethodsAll studies used the test-negative design, although there were some differences in other study characteristics, e.g. patient selection, data sources, case definitions and included age groups. Overall and influenza (sub)type-specific VE was estimated for each study using logistic regression adjusted for potential confounders.ResultsThere were 31,537 patients recruited across the six studies, of which 5,300 (17%) were cases with 5,310 infections. Most of these (4,466; 84%) were influenza A. The VE point estimates for all ages were 29% to 61% against any influenza in the primary care setting and 35% to 60% in hospitalised older adults (aged 65 years and over). The VE point estimates against A(H1N1)pdm09 (all ages, both settings) was 48% to 75%, and against A(H3N2) ranged from -58% to 57% (primary care) and -16% to 60% (hospital). Against influenza B, VE for all ages was 62% to 83% (primary care only).ConclusionsInfluenza vaccination is of continued benefit during the ongoing 2019/20 influenza season. Robust end-of-season VE estimates and genetic virus characterisation results may help understand the variability in influenza (sub)type-specific results across studies.

Keywords: Europe; influenza; multicentre study; test-negative design; vaccine effectiveness.