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Background and aims

Seasonal influenza vaccination (SIV) uptake (SIVU) rates in France are below target. We (i) describe trends in French SIVU over 10 consecutive seasons among different target groups and (ii) examine the effects of the 2009 influenza A(H1N1) pandemic and the publication of new SIV recommendations in 2011 and 2013.


Our study was based on records of vaccines delivered in community pharmacies for a permanent, representative sample of 805,000 beneficiaries of the French National Health Insurance Fund. For the first objective, we analysed SIVU rate trends among ≥ 65 year olds as well as among  < 65 year olds with each of the following conditions: diabetes, respiratory, cardiovascular, neuromuscular, or chronic liver disease. For the second goal, we computed segmented log-binomial regression analyses.


After the 2009 pandemic, except for the target group with liver diseases, where the difference was not statistically significant, SIVU fell significantly in all groups during the 2010/11 season, remaining relatively stable until 2015/16 in groups not targeted by new recommendations. Crude SIVU rates in 2015/16 were 48% (43,950/91,794) for ≥ 65 year olds and between 16% (407/2,565) and 29% (873/3,056) for  < 65 year olds depending on their condition. SIVU increased modestly after new recommendations were published, but only in patients newly eligible for a free vaccine voucher.


Our results suggest: (i) a prolonged confidence crisis in SIV, initially impelled by the 2009 pandemic vaccination campaign; (ii) that new recommendations are ineffective without additional measures. Interventional research in this field is a priority.


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