Seasonal Influenza Vaccine Effectiveness in People With Asthma: A National Test-Negative Design Case-Control Study Academic Article uri icon

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  • AbstractBackgroundInfluenza infection is a trigger of asthma attacks. Influenza vaccination can potentially reduce the incidence of influenza in people with asthma, but uptake remains persistently low, partially reflecting concerns about vaccine effectiveness (VE).MethodsWe conducted a test-negative designed case-control study to estimate the effectiveness of influenza vaccine in people with asthma in Scotland over 6 seasons (2010/2011 to 2015/2016). We used individual patient–level data from 223 practices, which yielded 1 830 772 patient-years of data that were linked with virological (n = 5910 swabs) data.ResultsVaccination was associated with an overall 55.0% (95% confidence interval [CI], 45.8–62.7) risk reduction of laboratory-confirmed influenza infections in people with asthma over 6 seasons. There were substantial variations in VE between seasons, influenza strains, and age groups. The highest VE (76.1%; 95% CI, 55.6–87.1) was found in the 2010/2011 season, when the A(H1N1) strain dominated and there was a good antigenic vaccine match. High protection was observed against the A(H1N1) (eg, 2010/2011; 70.7%; 95% CI, 32.5–87.3) and B strains (eg, 2010/2011; 83.2%; 95% CI, 44.3–94.9), but there was lower protection for the A(H3N2) strain (eg, 2014/2015; 26.4%; 95% CI, −12.0 to 51.6). The highest VE against all viral strains was observed in adults aged 18–54 years (57.0%; 95% CI, 42.3–68.0).ConclusionsInfluenza vaccination gave meaningful protection against laboratory-confirmed influenza in people with asthma across all seasons. Strategies to boost influenza vaccine uptake have the potential to substantially reduce influenza-triggered asthma attacks.


  • Vasileiou, Eleftheria
  • Sheikh, Aziz
  • Butler, Christopher
  • Robertson, Chris
  • Kavanagh, Kimberley
  • Englishby, Tanya
  • Lone, Nazir I
  • von Wissmann, Beatrix
  • McMenamin, Jim
  • Ritchie, Lewis D
  • Schwarze, Jürgen
  • Gunson, Rory
  • Simpson, Colin R

publication date

  • October 23, 2020