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Euro Surveill. 2016 Apr 21;21(16). doi: 10.2807/1560-7917.ES.2016.21.16.30208.

Pandemic vaccination strategies and influenza severe outcomes during the influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 pandemic and the post-pandemic influenza season: the Nordic experience.

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1
Statens Serum Institut, Copenhagen, Denmark.

Abstract

During the 2009/10 influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 pandemic, the five Nordic countries adopted different approaches to pandemic vaccination. We compared pandemic vaccination strategies and severe influenza outcomes, in seasons 2009/10 and 2010/11 in these countries with similar influenza surveillance systems. We calculated the cumulative pandemic vaccination coverage in 2009/10 and cumulative incidence rates of laboratory confirmed A(H1N1)pdm09 infections, intensive care unit (ICU) admissions and deaths in 2009/10 and 2010/11. We estimated incidence risk ratios (IRR) in a Poisson regression model to compare those indicators between Denmark and the other countries. The vaccination coverage was lower in Denmark (6.1%) compared with Finland (48.2%), Iceland (44.1%), Norway (41.3%) and Sweden (60.0%). In 2009/10 Denmark had a similar cumulative incidence of A(H1N1)pdm09 ICU admissions and deaths compared with the other countries. In 2010/11 Denmark had a significantly higher cumulative incidence of A(H1N1)pdm09 ICU admissions (IRR: 2.4; 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.9-3.0) and deaths (IRR: 8.3; 95% CI: 5.1-13.5). Compared with Denmark, the other countries had higher pandemic vaccination coverage and experienced less A(H1N1)pdm09-related severe outcomes in 2010/11. Pandemic vaccination may have had an impact on severe influenza outcomes in the post-pandemic season. Surveillance of severe outcomes may be used to compare the impact of influenza between seasons and support different vaccination strategies.

KEYWORDS:

Pandemics; influenza A(H1N1)pdm09; influenza A(H3N2); influenza B virus; influenza virus; intensive care units; vaccines and immunisation

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