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Microbiol Immunol. 1986;30(11):1151-65.

Evaluation of the efficacy of split-product trivalent A(H1N1), A(H3N2), and B influenza vaccines: protective efficacy.


A total of 1,995 primary school children (1,464 vaccinees and 531 non-vaccinees) were studied to evaluate the protective efficacy of Tween-ether split trivalent A(H1N1), A(H3N2), and B influenza vaccines by comparison of the incidence of confirmed infection in two groups during 1980 to 1984. During the study period, epidemics caused by antigenically different influenza viruses, that is A(H1N1) epidemics in 1981 and 1984, a B epidemic in 1982 and an A(H3N2) epidemic in 1983, were experienced, and at the same time strains changed by antigenic drift were frequently isolated. In these epidemics, 61% to 87% of the children reported respiratory illnesses and 18% to 48% of the illnesses were influenza confirmed by seroconversion. Throughout these four epidemics, the incidence of confirmed infection among the vaccinees (7.8% to 33.8%) was 6.5% to 34.8% lower than that among the nonvaccinees (35.4% to 51.6%), demonstrating that the vaccine was effective (X2 = 76.34, P less than 0.001). However, this effectiveness was not seen in an epidemic in one of the entrant schools in 1984, possibly caused by a strain with intense antigenic drift. On the basis of data on incidence of various symptoms, duration of fever and the number of days of absence from class, it was considered that clinical symptoms in the vaccinees were milder than those in the nonvaccinees. When the titers of hemagglutination-inhibiting (HAI) antibody against the vaccine strains were measured, the protective level of HAI antibody giving less than or equal to 50% incidence of infection was 1:64, but it increased to 1:256 in the 1984 epidemic, reflecting the high rate of isolates with intense antigenic drift.

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