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Influenza immunisation is recommended for elderly people each season. The influenza vaccine effectiveness (IVE) varies annually due to influenza viruses evolving and the vaccine composition.


To estimate, in inpatients ≥ 60 years old, the 2017/18 trivalent IVE, overall, by vaccine type and by strain. The impact of vaccination in any of the two previous seasons (2016/17 and 2015/16) on current (2017/18) IVE was also explored.


This was a multicentre prospective observational study within the Valencia Hospital Surveillance Network for the Study of Influenza and Respiratory Viruses Disease (VAHNSI, Spain). The test-negative design was applied taking laboratory-confirmed influenza as outcome and vaccination status as main exposure. Information about potential confounders was obtained from clinical registries and/or by interviewing patients; vaccine information was only ascertained by registries.


Overall, 2017/18 IVE was 9.9% (95% CI: −15.5 to 29.6%), and specifically, 48.3% (95% CI: 13.5% to 69.1%), −29.9% (95% CI: −79.1% to 5.8%) and 25.7% (95% CI: −8.8% to 49.3%) against A(H1N1)pdm09, A(H3N2) and B/Yamagata lineage, respectively. For the adjuvanted and non-adjuvanted vaccines, overall IVE was 10.0% (95% CI: −24.4% to 34.9%) and 7.8% (95% CI: −23.1% to 31.0%) respectively. Prior vaccination significantly protected against influenza B/Yamagata lineage (IVE: 50.2%; 95% CI: 2.3% to 74.6%) in patients not vaccinated in the current season. For those repeatedly vaccinated against influenza A(H1N1)pdm09, IVE was 46.4% (95% CI: 6.8% to 69.2%).


Our data revealed low vaccine effectiveness against influenza in hospitalised patients ≥60 years old in 2017/18. Prior vaccination protected against influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 and B/Yamagata-lineage.


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