Effect of influenza and pneumococcal vaccines in elderly persons in years of low influenza activity.Virol J. 2008 Apr 28; 5:52.VJ
The present prospective study was conducted from 2003-2005, among all individuals 65 years and older in Uppsala County, a region with 300 000 inhabitants situated close to the Stockholm urban area.The objective of this study was to assess the preventive effect of influenza and pneumococcal vaccination in reducing hospitalisation and length of hospital stay (LOHS) even during periods of low influenza activity. The specificity of the apparent vaccine associations were evaluated in relation to the influenza seasons.
In 2003, the total study population was 41,059, of which 12,907 (31%) received influenza vaccine of these, 4,447 (11%) were administered the pneumococcal vaccine. In 2004, 14,799 (34%) individuals received the influenza vaccine and 8,843 (21%) the pneumococcal vaccine and in 2005 16,926 (39%) individuals were given the influenza vaccine and 12,340 (28%) the pneumococcal vaccine.Our findings indicated that 35% of the vaccinated cohort belonged to a medical risk category (mainly those persons that received the pneumococcal vaccine). Data on hospitalisation and mortality during the 3-year period were obtained from the administrative database of the Uppsala county council. During the influenza seasons, reduction of hospital admissions and significantly shorter in-hospital stay for influenza was observed in the vaccinated cohort (below 80 years of age). For individuals who also had received the pneumococcal vaccine, a significant reduction of hospital admissions and of in-hospital stay was observed for invasive pneumococcal disease and for pneumococcal pneumonia. Effectiveness was observed for cardiac failure even in persons that also had received the pneumococcal vaccine, despite that the pneumococcal vaccinated mainly belonged to a medical risk category. Reduction of death from all causes was observed during the influenza season of 2004, in the 75-84-year old age group and in all age-groups during the influenza season 2005.
The present study confirmed the additive effect of the two vaccines in the elderly, which was associated with a reduced risk in hospitalisation and a reduction in mean LOHS in seasons with low influenza activity.