Interim Estimates of 2021-22 Seasonal Influenza Vaccine Effectiveness - United States, February 2022

MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2022 Mar 11;71(10):365-370. doi: 10.15585/mmwr.mm7110a1.


In the United States, annual vaccination against seasonal influenza is recommended for all persons aged ≥6 months except when contraindicated (1). Currently available influenza vaccines are designed to protect against four influenza viruses: A(H1N1)pdm09 (the 2009 pandemic virus), A(H3N2), B/Victoria lineage, and B/Yamagata lineage. Most influenza viruses detected this season have been A(H3N2) (2). With the exception of the 2020-21 season, when data were insufficient to generate an estimate, CDC has estimated the effectiveness of seasonal influenza vaccine at preventing laboratory-confirmed, mild/moderate (outpatient) medically attended acute respiratory infection (ARI) each season since 2004-05. This interim report uses data from 3,636 children and adults with ARI enrolled in the U.S. Influenza Vaccine Effectiveness Network during October 4, 2021-February 12, 2022. Overall, vaccine effectiveness (VE) against medically attended outpatient ARI associated with influenza A(H3N2) virus was 16% (95% CI = -16% to 39%), which is considered not statistically significant. This analysis indicates that influenza vaccination did not reduce the risk for outpatient medically attended illness with influenza A(H3N2) viruses that predominated so far this season. Enrollment was insufficient to generate reliable VE estimates by age group or by type of influenza vaccine product (1). CDC recommends influenza antiviral medications as an adjunct to vaccination; the potential public health benefit of antiviral medications is magnified in the context of reduced influenza VE. CDC routinely recommends that health care providers continue to administer influenza vaccine to persons aged ≥6 months as long as influenza viruses are circulating, even when VE against one virus is reduced, because vaccine can prevent serious outcomes (e.g., hospitalization, intensive care unit (ICU) admission, or death) that are associated with influenza A(H3N2) virus infection and might protect against other influenza viruses that could circulate later in the season.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Influenza A Virus, H1N1 Subtype / immunology
  • Influenza A Virus, H3N2 Subtype / immunology*
  • Influenza A virus / immunology*
  • Influenza B virus / immunology
  • Influenza Vaccines / administration & dosage*
  • Influenza, Human / prevention & control*
  • Middle Aged
  • Population Surveillance
  • Seasons
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Vaccination
  • Vaccine Efficacy*


  • Influenza Vaccines