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Helmeke C.,U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention | Helmeke C.,State Agency for Consumer Protection Saxony Anhalt | Grafe L.,State Agency for Consumer Protection Saxony Anhalt | Irmscher H.-M.,State Agency for Consumer Protection Saxony Anhalt | And 3 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2015

A live attenuated influenza vaccine has been available in Germany since the influenza season 2012/13, which is approved for children aged 2-17 years. Using data from our laboratory-based surveillance system, we described the circulation of influenza and non-influenza respiratory viruses during the influenza season 2012/13 in Saxony-Anhalt. We estimated the effectiveness of live and inactivated trivalent influenza vaccines in preventing laboratory-confirmed cases among children and adolescents. From week 40/2012 to 19/2013, sentinel paediatricians systematically swabbed acute respiratory illness patients for testing of influenza and 5 non-influenza viruses by PCR. We compared influenza cases and influenza-negative controls. Among children aged 2-17 years, we calculated overall and vaccine type-specific effectiveness against laboratory-confirmed influenza, stratified by age group (2-6; 7-17 years). We used multivariable logistic regression to adjust estimates for age group, sex and month of illness. Out of 1,307 specimens, 647 (35%) were positive for influenza viruses and 189 (15%) for at least one of the tested non-influenza viruses. For vaccine effectiveness estimation, we included 834 patients (mean age 7.3 years, 53% males) in our analysis. Of 347 (42%) influenza-positive specimens, 61 (18%) were positive for A(H1N1)pdm09, 112 (32%) for A(H3N2) and 174 (50%) for influenza B virus. The adjusted overall vaccine effectiveness including both age groups was 38% (95% CI: 0.8-61%). The adjusted effectiveness for inactivated vaccines was 37% (95% CI: -35-70%) and for live vaccines 84% (95% CI: 45-95%). Effectiveness for the live vaccine was higher in 2-6 year-old children (90%, 95% CI: 20-99%) than in children aged 7-17 years (74%, 95% CI: -32-95%). Our study of the strong influenza season in 2012/13 suggests a high preventive effect of live attenuated influenza vaccine especially among young children, which could not be reached by inactivated vaccines. We recommend the use of live attenuated influenza vaccines in children unless there are contraindications. © 2015 Helmeke et al.

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