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J Infect Dis. 2001 Sep 15;184(6):665-70. Epub 2001 Aug 9.

Influenza vaccine effectiveness in preventing hospitalizations and deaths in persons 65 years or older in Minnesota, New York, and Oregon: data from 3 health plans.

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HealthPartners Research Foundation, Minneapolis, MN 55440-1524, USA.


This study developed methods and determined the impact of influenza vaccination on elderly persons in 3 large health plans: Kaiser Permanente Northwest, HealthPartners, and Oxford Health Plans. Data for the 1996-1997 and 1997-1998 seasons were extracted from administrative databases. Subjects were health plan members > or = 65 years old. Comorbid conditions collected from the preceding year were used for risk adjustment with logistic regression. The virus-vaccine match was excellent for year 1 and fair for year 2. Both years, during peak and total periods, vaccination reduced all causes of death and hospitalization for pneumonia and influenza: hospitalizations were reduced by 19%-20% and 18%-24% for years 1 and 2, respectively, and deaths were reduced by 60%-61% and 35%-39% for the same periods. These results show that all elderly persons should be immunized annually for influenza. The methods used in this study are an efficient cost-effective way to study vaccine impact and similar questions.

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