Some reports have suggested that influenza virus vaccine is less effective in persons that have received prior annual vaccination(s) than in those receiving it for the first time. This issue was addressed by evaluating the efficacy of annual influenza vaccinations over a 5 year period in healthy adults employing commercially-available, inactivated whole-virus vaccine. Influenza vaccination had minimal effects on overall respiratory illnesses during epidemic periods. However, it reduced influenza virus shedding by an average of 38.8% and conferred protection against influenza virus infection during each epidemic. Some variation in infection rates were noted between vaccine groups given one or more than one annual immunization, and between years, but no consistent pattern of differences was noted in relation to number of successive years of vaccination. These results suggest that the current recommendation for annual influenza vaccination of persons at special risk of serious disease and complications is appropriate, but that continued efforts to improve the effectiveness of our prophylactic measures against influenza are needed.