HealthDay News — According to a study published in Pediatrics, influenza vaccination is associated with reduced risk of laboratory-confirmed influenza-associated death in children, with an overall vaccine effectiveness of 65%.
Brendan Flannery, PhD, from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, and colleagues conducted a case-control analysis comparing vaccination uptake among laboratory-confirmed influenza-associated pediatric deaths with estimated vaccination coverage among pediatric cohorts.
The authors obtained influenza vaccination coverage estimates from national survey data or a national insurance claims database.
The researchers found that there were 358 laboratory-confirmed influenza-associated pediatric deaths among children aged 6 months through 17 years from July 2010 through June 2014. Vaccination status was obtained for 291 deaths; 26% received vaccine before onset of illness.
In the survey cohorts, the average vaccination coverage was 48%. The overall vaccine effectiveness against death was 65%.
Of 153 deaths in children with underlying high-risk medical conditions, 31% were vaccinated. Among children with high-risk conditions, vaccine effectiveness was 51%, compared with 65% among children without high-risk conditions.
“Influenza vaccination was associated with reduced risk of laboratory-confirmed influenza-associated pediatric death,” the authors write. “Increasing influenza vaccination could prevent influenza-associated deaths among children and adolescents.”
Flannery B, et al. “Influenza Vaccine Effectiveness Against Pediatric Deaths: 2010–2014”. Pediatrics. 2017. doi: 10.1542/peds.2016-4244 [Epub ahead of print]