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MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2019 Feb 15;68(6):135-139. doi: 10.15585/mmwr.mm6806a2.

Interim Estimates of 2018-19 Seasonal Influenza Vaccine Effectiveness - United States, February 2019.


In the United States, annual vaccination against seasonal influenza is recommended for all persons aged ≥6 months ( Effectiveness of seasonal influenza vaccine varies by season. During each influenza season since 2004-05, CDC has estimated the effectiveness of seasonal influenza vaccine to prevent laboratory-confirmed influenza associated with medically attended acute respiratory illness (ARI). This interim report uses data from 3,254 children and adults enrolled in the U.S. Influenza Vaccine Effectiveness Network (U.S. Flu VE Network) during November 23, 2018-February 2, 2019. During this period, overall adjusted vaccine effectiveness against all influenza virus infection associated with medically attended ARI was 47% (95% confidence interval [CI] = 34%-57%). For children aged 6 months-17 years, overall vaccine effectiveness was 61% (44%-73%). Seventy-four percent of influenza A infections for which subtype information was available were caused by A(H1N1)pdm09 viruses. Vaccine effectiveness was estimated to be 46% (30%-58%) against illness caused by influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 viruses. CDC recommends that health care providers continue to administer influenza vaccine because influenza activity is ongoing and the vaccine can still prevent illness, hospitalization, and death associated with currently circulating influenza viruses, or other influenza viruses that might circulate later in the season. During the 2017-18 influenza season, in which influenza A(H3N2) predominated, vaccination was estimated to prevent 7.1 million illnesses, 3.7 million medical visits, 109,000 hospitalizations, and 8,000 deaths (1). Vaccination can also reduce the severity of influenza-associated illness (2). Persons aged ≥6 months who have not yet been vaccinated this season should be vaccinated.

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Conflict of interest statement

All authors have completed and submitted the ICMJE form for disclosure of potential conflicts of interest. Richard Zimmerman reports grants from Sanofi Pasteur, Pfizer, and Merck & Co., outside the submitted work; Arnold S. Monto reports personal fees from Sanofi Pasteur and Seqirus, outside the submitted work; Emily T. Martin reports personal fees from Pfizer, outside the submitted work; Michael L. Jackson reports grants from Sanofi Pasteur, outside the submitted work; Mary Patricia Nowalk reports grants from Merck & Co, Inc. and Pfizer, outside the submitted work; and Huong Q. McLean reports grants from Seqirus, outside the submitted work. No other potential conflicts of interest were disclosed.

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