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We compared trivalent inactivated influenza vaccine effectiveness (VE) in preventing outpatient and inpatient influenza cases in Navarre, Spain. During seasons 2010/11 to 2015/16, community-dwelling patients with influenza-like illness aged 50 years or older were tested for influenza when attended by sentinel general practitioners or admitted to hospitals. The test–negative design was used to estimate and compare the VE by healthcare setting. We compared 1,242 laboratory-confirmed influenza cases (557 outpatient and 685 inpatient cases) and 1,641 test-negative controls. Influenza VE was 34% (95% confidence interval (CI): 6 to 54) in outpatients and 32% (95% CI: 15 to 45) in inpatients. VE in outpatients and inpatients was, respectively, 41% (95% CI: –1 to 65) and 36% (95% CI: 12 to 53) against A(H1N1)pdm09, 5% (95% CI: –58 to 43) and 22% (95% CI: –9 to 44) against A(H3N2), and 49% (95% CI, 6 to 73) and 37% (95% CI: 2 to 59) against influenza B. Trivalent inactivated influenza vaccine was not associated with a different probability of hospitalisation among influenza cases, apart from a 54% (95% CI: 10 to 76) reduction in hospitalisation of influenza A(H3N2) cases. On average, influenza VE was moderate and similar in preventing outpatient and inpatient influenza cases over six influenza seasons in patients above 50 years of age. In some instances of low VE, vaccination may still reduce the risk of hospitalisation in older adults with vaccine failure.


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