Influenza vaccination in 22 developed countries: an update to 1995

Vaccine. 1997 Oct;15(14):1506-11. doi: 10.1016/s0264-410x(97)00091-1.


This study expands and updates through 1995 our earlier report on influenza vaccine use in 18 developed countries. Five of the six countries with high levels of vaccine use in 1992 (> or = 130 doses/1000 population) showed little change or slight declines over the subsequent 3 years. The exception was the United States, where a new federal program for vaccination reimbursement for the elderly helped to increase vaccine distribution from 144 to 239 doses/1000 population. The six countries with medium levels of vaccine use in 1992 (76-96 doses/1000 population) increased to > or = 100 doses/1000 population by 1995. Among the six low-use countries in 1992 (< or = 65 doses/1000 population), only Finland showed substantial improvement (96 doses/1000 population) in 1995. Four new countries were added to the study. In Germany, vaccine use increased to 80 doses/1000 population in 1995, but in Ireland it remained at a low level (48 doses/1000 population). In Korea, vaccine use increased from 17 to 95 doses/ 1000 population during the period 1987-1995. In Japan, very high levels of vaccine use (approximately 280 doses/1000 population) in the early 1980s were associated with vaccination programs for school children. However, vaccine use fell precipitously when these programs were discontinued, and only 2 and 8 doses/1000 population were used in 1994 and 1995, respectively. In all 22 countries, higher levels of vaccine use were associated with vaccination reimbursement programs under national or social health insurance and were not correlated with different levels of economic development. Excluding Japan, in 1995 there was still a greater than fourfold difference between the highest and lowest levels of vaccine use among the other 21 countries in the study. Given its well established clinical effectiveness and cost-effectiveness, none of these countries has yet achieved the full benefits of its programs for influenza vaccination.

MeSH terms

  • Developed Countries
  • Humans
  • Influenza Vaccines / immunology*
  • Vaccination*


  • Influenza Vaccines