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Within I-MOVE (European programme to monitor seasonal and pandemic influenza vaccine effectiveness (IVE)) five countries conducted IVE pilot case-control studies in 2008-9. One hundred and sixty sentinel general practitioners (GP) swabbed all elderly consulting for influenza-like illness (ILI). Influenza confirmed cases were compared to influenza negative controls. We conducted a pooled analysis to obtain a summary IVE in the age group of ≥65 years. We measured IVE in each study and assessed heterogeneity between studies qualitatively and using the I2 index. We used a one-stage pooled model with study as a fixed effect. We adjusted estimates for age-group, sex, chronic diseases, smoking, functional status, previous influenza vaccinations and previous hospitalisations. The pooled analysis included 138 cases and 189 test-negative controls. There was no statistical heterogeneity (I2=0) between studies but ILI case definition, previous hospitalisations and functional status were slightly different. The adjusted IVE was 59.1% (95% CI: 15.3-80.3%). IVE was 65.4% (95% CI: 15.6-85.8%) in the 65-74, 59.6% (95% CI: -72.6 -90.6%) in the age group of ≥75 and 56.4% (95% CI: -0.2-81.3%) for A(H3). Pooled analysis is feasible among European studies. The variables definitions need further standardisation. Larger sample sizes are needed to achieve greater precision for subgroup analysis. For 2009-10, I-MOVE will extend the study to obtain early IVE estimates in groups targeted for pandemic H1N1 influenza vaccination.


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