The effectiveness of influenza vaccination in preventing hospitalizations in elderly in Beijing, 2016-18

Daitao Zhang, Yi Zhang, Quanyi Wang, Jerome Lock, Yang Pan, Shujuan Cui, Peng Yang, Yonghua Hu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background: Influenza vaccinations play an important role in preventing influenza related hospitalizations. The objective of this study was to estimate the effectiveness of vaccination in protecting Beijing residents aged >= 60 years from influenza related hospitalizations during the 2016/17 and 2017/18 influenza seasons.

Methods: Patients who met the definition of severe acute respiratory infection (SARI) and were hospitalized in the nine sentinel hospitals in Beijing during the 2016/17 and 2017/18 influenza seasons were identified as the study population. The vaccination status of patients was obtained from a vaccination registry. Real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) experiments were conducted to test pharyngeal or lower respiratory tract samples collected from SARI patients for influenza A and B viruses. Vaccine effectiveness (VE) was examined using a test-negative design that compare the odds of vaccination among influenza positives and negatives, adjusting for calendar week of illness onset, age, and underlying medical conditions.

Results: We identified 50,364 patients in the study, in which there were 145 influenza cases and 528 influenza-negative controls aged >= 60 years in 2016/17 season and 149 cases and 358 controls aged >= 60 years in 2017/18 season. The most commonly identified subtype among participants was influenza A(H3N2) in 2016/17 and 2017/18 season (78.5% and 70.6%). Among the adults aged >= 60 years, the adjusted VE of vaccination against any influenza virus for serious acute respiratory infection (SARI) patients was 32.8% (95% confidence interval ICI]: -22.0 to 63.0%) in 2016/17 season. While the adjusted VE in 2017/18 season were 4.6% (95% CI: -72.4 to 47.2%) against any types of influenza, 29.2% (95% CI: -92.9 to 74%) against influenza A(H1N1)pdm09, -37.7% (95% Cl: -293.8; 51.9%) against influenza A (H3N2) viruses, and 3.6% (95% CI: -113.8 to 56.5%) against influenza B.

Conclusion: The influenza vaccine provided moderate protection in 2016/17 season and mild protection in 2017/18 season for influenza related inpatients of adults aged >= 60 years in Beijing. (C) 2019 Published by Elsevier Ltd.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1853-1858
Number of pages6
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - 22 Mar 2019


  • Influenza
  • Vaccine effectiveness
  • Test-negative
  • Hospitalization
  • A(H3N2)


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