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Abstract

Estimating influenza vaccine effectiveness (IVE) early in the season helps measuring the consequences of a mismatch between the vaccine and the circulating strain and guiding alternative or complementary interventions. The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control is funding a project to develop pilot studies to monitor IVE in the Member States (MS) of the European Union and European Economic Area (EU/EEA) during seasonal and pandemic influenza. To identify key methodological and practical issues in developing protocols for pilot studies, we conducted a survey among EU/EEA MS, a literature review on IVE methods, and consultations of experts. The survey and literature review highlighted the variety of the data sources used to estimate IVE and the difficulty to interpret data on IVE, which varies with age, risk group, outcome specificity and virus-vaccine mismatch. We also found that negative and positive confounding can bias IVE. The experts consultations lead to the following recommendations: to measure IVE in the same population in various seasons; to control for positive/negative confounding (including pre- and post-influenza season IVE estimates); and to include laboratory confirmation as outcome in various study designs. In the 2008-9 influenza season, two cohort studies using general practitioners' databases and six case control studies will be piloted in EU/EEA MS and will adhere to the above recommendations. The pilot studies will be the basis for the development of robust methods to monitor IVE in EU/EEA MS.

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/content/10.2807/ese.13.43.19015-en
2008-10-23
2017-11-23
http://instance.metastore.ingenta.com/content/10.2807/ese.13.43.19015-en
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