Effectiveness of influenza vaccine against life-threatening RT-PCR-confirmed influenza illness in US children, 2010-2012

Jill M. Ferdinands, Lauren E.W. Olsho, Anna A. Agan, Niranjan Bhat, Ryan M. Sullivan, Mark Hall, Peter M. Mourani, Mark Thompson, Adrienne G. Randolph

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

87 Scopus citations


Background. No studies have examined the effectiveness of influenza vaccine against intensive care unit (ICU) admission associated with influenza virus infection among children. Methods. In 2010-2011 and 2011-2012, children aged 6 months to 17 years admitted to 21 US pediatric intensive care units (PICUs) with acute severe respiratory illness and testing positive for influenza were enrolled as cases; children who tested negative were PICU controls. Community controls were children without an influenza-related hospitalization, matched to cases by comorbidities and geographic region. Vaccine effectiveness was estimated with logistic regression models. Results. We analyzed data from 44 cases, 172 PICU controls, and 93 community controls. Eighteen percent of cases, 31% of PICU controls, and 51% of community controls were fully vaccinated. Compared to unvaccinated children, children who were fully vaccinated were 74% (95% CI, 19% to 91%) or 82% (95% CI, 23% to 96%) less likely to be admitted to a PICU for influenza compared to PICU controls or community controls, respectively. Receipt of 1 dose of vaccine among children for whom 2 doses were recommended was not protective. Conclusions. During the 2010-2011 and 2011-2012 US influenza seasons, influenza vaccination was associated with a three-quarters reduction in the risk of life-threatening influenza illness in children.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)674-683
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Infectious Diseases
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Case-control studies
  • Child
  • Influenza infection
  • Influenza vaccines
  • Intensive care
  • Respiratory failure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Infectious Diseases


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