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PLoS One. 2011;6(11):e26282. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0026282. Epub 2011 Nov 7.

Influenza-related mortality trends in Japanese and American seniors: evidence for the indirect mortality benefits of vaccinating schoolchildren.

Author information

1
Fogarty International Center, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, United States of America. vcharu@gmail.com

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The historical Japanese influenza vaccination program targeted at schoolchildren provides a unique opportunity to evaluate the indirect benefits of vaccinating high-transmitter groups to mitigate disease burden among seniors. Here we characterize the indirect mortality benefits of vaccinating schoolchildren based on data from Japan and the US.

METHODS:

We compared age-specific influenza-related excess mortality rates in Japanese seniors aged ≥65 years during the schoolchildren vaccination program (1978-1994) and after the program was discontinued (1995-2006). Indirect vaccine benefits were adjusted for demographic changes, socioeconomics and dominant influenza subtype; US mortality data were used as a control.

RESULTS:

We estimate that the schoolchildren vaccination program conferred a 36% adjusted mortality reduction among Japanese seniors (95%CI: 17-51%), corresponding to ∼1,000 senior deaths averted by vaccination annually (95%CI: 400-1,800). In contrast, influenza-related mortality did not change among US seniors, despite increasing vaccine coverage in this population.

CONCLUSIONS:

The Japanese schoolchildren vaccination program was associated with substantial indirect mortality benefits in seniors.

PMID:
22087226
PMCID:
PMC3210121
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0026282
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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