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Effects of Influenza Vaccination in the United States During the 2017-2018 Influenza Season.

Abstract

We used national age-specific estimates of 2017-2018 influenza vaccine coverage and disease burden. We estimated VE against medically attended reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction-confirmed influenza virus infection in the ambulatory setting using a test-negative design. We used a compartmental model to estimate numbers of influenza-associated outcomes prevented by vaccination.

The severity of the 2017-2018 influenza season in the United States was high, with influenza A(H3N2) viruses predominating. Here, we report influenza vaccine effectiveness (VE) and estimate the number of vaccine-prevented influenza-associated illnesses, medical visits, hospitalizations, and deaths for the 2017-2018 influenza season.

Despite 38% VE, influenza vaccination reduced a substantial burden of influenza-associated illness, medical visits, hospitalizations, and deaths in the United States during the 2017-2018 season. Our results demonstrate the benefit of current influenza vaccination and the need for improved vaccines.

The VE against outpatient, medically attended, laboratory-confirmed influenza was 38% (95% confidence interval [CI], 31%-43%), including 22% (95% CI, 12%-31%) against influenza A(H3N2), 62% (95% CI, 50%-71%) against influenza A(H1N1)pdm09, and 50% (95% CI, 41%-57%) against influenza B. We estimated that influenza vaccination prevented 7.1 million (95% CrI, 5.4 million-9.3 million) illnesses, 3.7 million (95% CrI, 2.8 million-4.9 million) medical visits, 109 000 (95% CrI, 39 000-231 000) hospitalizations, and 8000 (95% credible interval [CrI], 1100-21 000) deaths. Vaccination prevented 10% of expected hospitalizations overall and 41% among young children (6 months-4 years).

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