Systematic review of the efficacy, effectiveness and safety of high-dose seasonal influenza vaccines for the prevention of laboratory-confirmed influenza in individuals ≥18 years of age

Rev Med Virol. 2023 May;33(3):e2330. doi: 10.1002/rmv.2330. Epub 2022 Feb 4.


This review sought to assess the efficacy, effectiveness and safety of high-dose inactivated influenza vaccines (HD-IIV) for the prevention of laboratory-confirmed influenza in individuals aged 18 years or older. A systematic literature search was conducted in electronic databases and grey literature sources up to 7 February 2020. Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) and non-randomised studies of interventions (NRSIs) were included. The search returned 28,846 records, of which 36 studies were included. HD-IIV was shown to have higher relative vaccine efficacy in preventing influenza compared with standard-dose influenza vaccines (SD-IIV3) in older adults (Vaccine effectiveness (VE) = 24%, 95% CI 10-37, one RCT). One NRSI demonstrated significant effect for HD-IIV3 against influenza B (VE = 89%, 95% CI 47-100), but not for influenza A(H3N2) (VE = 22%, 95% CI -82 to 66) when compared with no vaccination in older adults. HD-IIV3 showed significant relative effect compared with SD-IIV3 for influenza-related hospitalisation (VE = 11.8%, 95% CI 6.4-17.0, two NRSIs), influenza- or pneumonia-related hospitalisation (VE = 13.7%, 95% CI 9.5-17.7, three NRSIs), influenza-related hospital encounters (VE = 13.1%, 95% CI 8.4-17.7, five NRSIs), and influenza-related office visits (VE = 3.5%, 95% CI 1.5-5.5, two NRSIs). For safety, HD-IIV were associated with significantly higher rates of local and systemic adverse events compared with SD-IIV (combined local reactions, pain at injection site, swelling, induration, headache, chills and malaise). From limited data, compared with SD-IIV, HD-IIV were found to be more effective in the prevention of laboratory-confirmed influenza, for a range of proxy outcome measures, and associated with more adverse events.

Keywords: high-dose; human; influenza; influenza vaccines.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Aged
  • Humans
  • Influenza Vaccines*
  • Influenza, Human* / prevention & control
  • Seasons
  • Vaccination / adverse effects
  • Vaccines, Inactivated / adverse effects


  • Influenza Vaccines
  • Vaccines, Inactivated