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Vaccines for preventing influenza in healthy children.
Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2008; (2):CD004879CD

Abstract

BACKGROUND

The consequences of influenza in children and adults are mainly absenteeism from school and work. However, the risk of complications is greatest in children and people over 65 years old.

OBJECTIVES

To appraise all comparative studies evaluating the effects of influenza vaccines in healthy children; assess vaccine efficacy (prevention of confirmed influenza) and effectiveness (prevention of influenza-like illness) and document adverse events associated with influenza vaccines.

SEARCH STRATEGY

We searched the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) (The Cochrane Library 2007, issue 3); OLD MEDLINE (1950 to 1965); MEDLINE (1966 to September 2007); EMBASE (1974 to September 2007); Biological Abstracts (1969 to September 2007); and Science Citation Index (1974 to September 2007).

SELECTION CRITERIA

Randomised controlled trials (RCTs), cohort and case-control studies of any influenza vaccine in healthy children under 16 years of age.

DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS

Two review authors independently assessed trial quality and extracted data.

MAIN RESULTS

Fifty-one studies with 294,159 observations were included. Sixteen RCTs and 18 cohort studies were included in the analysis of vaccine efficacy and effectiveness. From RCTs, live vaccines showed an efficacy of 82% (95% confidence interval (CI) 71% to 89%) and an effectiveness of 33% (95% CI 28% to 38%) in children older than two compared with placebo or no intervention. Inactivated vaccines had a lower efficacy of 59% (95% CI 41% to 71%) than live vaccines but similar effectiveness: 36% (95% CI 24% to 46%). In children under two, the efficacy of inactivated vaccine was similar to placebo. Variability in study design and presentation of data was such that a meta-analysis of safety outcome data was not feasible. Extensive evidence of reporting bias of safety outcomes from trials of live attenuated vaccines impeded meaningful analysis.

AUTHORS' CONCLUSIONS

Influenza vaccines are efficacious in children older than two but little evidence is available for children under two. There was a marked difference between vaccine efficacy and effectiveness. No safety comparisons could be carried out, emphasizing the need for standardisation of methods and presentation of vaccine safety data in future studies. It was surprising to find only one study of inactivated vaccine in children under two years, given current recommendations to vaccinate healthy children from six months old in the USA and Canada. If immunisation in children is to be recommended as a public health policy, large-scale studies assessing important outcomes and directly comparing vaccine types are urgently required.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Vaccines Field, Cochrane Collaboration, Via Adige 28a, Anguillara Sabazia, Roma, Italy, 00061.No affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Meta-Analysis
Review
Systematic Review

Language

eng

PubMed ID

18425905

Citation

Jefferson, Tom, et al. "Vaccines for Preventing Influenza in Healthy Children." The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 2008, p. CD004879.
Jefferson T, Rivetti A, Harnden A, et al. Vaccines for preventing influenza in healthy children. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2008.
Jefferson, T., Rivetti, A., Harnden, A., Di Pietrantonj, C., & Demicheli, V. (2008). Vaccines for preventing influenza in healthy children. The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, (2), p. CD004879. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD004879.pub3.
Jefferson T, et al. Vaccines for Preventing Influenza in Healthy Children. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2008 Apr 16;(2)CD004879. PubMed PMID: 18425905.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Vaccines for preventing influenza in healthy children. AU - Jefferson,Tom, AU - Rivetti,Alessandro, AU - Harnden,Anthony, AU - Di Pietrantonj,Carlo, AU - Demicheli,Vittorio, Y1 - 2008/04/16/ PY - 2008/4/22/pubmed PY - 2008/6/14/medline PY - 2008/4/22/entrez SP - CD004879 EP - CD004879 JF - The Cochrane database of systematic reviews JO - Cochrane Database Syst Rev IS - 2 N2 - BACKGROUND: The consequences of influenza in children and adults are mainly absenteeism from school and work. However, the risk of complications is greatest in children and people over 65 years old. OBJECTIVES: To appraise all comparative studies evaluating the effects of influenza vaccines in healthy children; assess vaccine efficacy (prevention of confirmed influenza) and effectiveness (prevention of influenza-like illness) and document adverse events associated with influenza vaccines. SEARCH STRATEGY: We searched the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) (The Cochrane Library 2007, issue 3); OLD MEDLINE (1950 to 1965); MEDLINE (1966 to September 2007); EMBASE (1974 to September 2007); Biological Abstracts (1969 to September 2007); and Science Citation Index (1974 to September 2007). SELECTION CRITERIA: Randomised controlled trials (RCTs), cohort and case-control studies of any influenza vaccine in healthy children under 16 years of age. DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: Two review authors independently assessed trial quality and extracted data. MAIN RESULTS: Fifty-one studies with 294,159 observations were included. Sixteen RCTs and 18 cohort studies were included in the analysis of vaccine efficacy and effectiveness. From RCTs, live vaccines showed an efficacy of 82% (95% confidence interval (CI) 71% to 89%) and an effectiveness of 33% (95% CI 28% to 38%) in children older than two compared with placebo or no intervention. Inactivated vaccines had a lower efficacy of 59% (95% CI 41% to 71%) than live vaccines but similar effectiveness: 36% (95% CI 24% to 46%). In children under two, the efficacy of inactivated vaccine was similar to placebo. Variability in study design and presentation of data was such that a meta-analysis of safety outcome data was not feasible. Extensive evidence of reporting bias of safety outcomes from trials of live attenuated vaccines impeded meaningful analysis. AUTHORS' CONCLUSIONS: Influenza vaccines are efficacious in children older than two but little evidence is available for children under two. There was a marked difference between vaccine efficacy and effectiveness. No safety comparisons could be carried out, emphasizing the need for standardisation of methods and presentation of vaccine safety data in future studies. It was surprising to find only one study of inactivated vaccine in children under two years, given current recommendations to vaccinate healthy children from six months old in the USA and Canada. If immunisation in children is to be recommended as a public health policy, large-scale studies assessing important outcomes and directly comparing vaccine types are urgently required. SN - 1469-493X UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/18425905/Vaccines_for_preventing_influenza_in_healthy_children_ L2 - https://doi.org/10.1002/14651858.CD004879.pub3 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -