End of season influenza vaccine effectiveness in adults and children in the United Kingdom in 2017/18

Pebody, Richard and Djennad, Abdelmajid and Ellis, Joanna and Andrews, Nick and Marques, Diogo F P and Cottrell, Simon and Reynolds, Arlene J and Gunson, Rory and Galiano, Monica and Hoschler, Katja and Lackenby, Angie and Robertson, Chris and O'Doherty, Mark and Sinnathamby, Mary and Panagiotopoulos, Nikolaos and Yonova, Ivelina and Webb, Rebecca and Moore, Catherine and Donati, Matthew and Sartaj, Muhammad and Shepherd, Samantha J and McMenamin, Jim and de Lusignan, Simon and Zambon, Maria (2019) End of season influenza vaccine effectiveness in adults and children in the United Kingdom in 2017/18. Eurosurveillance, 24 (31). 1800488. ISSN 1025-496X

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    Abstract

    Background: In the United Kingdom (UK), in recent influenza seasons, children are offered a quadrivalent live attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV4), and eligible adults mainly trivalent inactivated vaccine (TIV). Aim: To estimate the UK end-of-season 2017/18 adjusted vaccine effectiveness (aVE) and the seroprevalence in England of antibodies against influenza viruses cultured in eggs or tissue. Methods: This observational study employed the test-negative case–control approach to estimate aVE in primary care. The population-based seroprevalence survey used residual age-stratified samples. Results: Influenza viruses A(H3N2) (particularly subgroup 3C.2a2) and B (mainly B/Yamagata/16/88-lineage, similar to the quadrivalent vaccine B-virus component but mismatched to TIV) dominated. All-age aVE was 15% (95% confidence interval (CI): −6.3 to 32) against all influenza; −16.4% (95% CI: −59.3 to 14.9) against A(H3N2); 24.7% (95% CI: 1.1 to 42.7) against B and 66.3% (95% CI: 33.4 to 82.9) against A(H1N1)pdm09. For 2–17 year olds, LAIV4 aVE was 26.9% (95% CI: −32.6 to 59.7) against all influenza; −75.5% (95% CI: −289.6 to 21) against A(H3N2); 60.8% (95% CI: 8.2 to 83.3) against B and 90.3% (95% CI: 16.4 to 98.9) against A(H1N1)pdm09. For ≥ 18 year olds, TIV aVE against influenza B was 1.9% (95% CI: −63.6 to 41.2). The 2017 seroprevalence of antibody recognising tissue-grown A(H3N2) virus was significantly lower than that recognising egg-grown virus in all groups except 15–24 year olds. Conclusions: Overall aVE was low driven by no effectiveness against A(H3N2) possibly related to vaccine virus egg-adaption and a new A(H3N2) subgroup emergence. The TIV was not effective against influenza B. LAIV4 against influenza B and A(H1N1)pdm09 was effective.