Pandemic vaccination strategies and influenza severe outcomes during the influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 pandemic and the post-pandemic influenza season: the Nordic experience.

Julita Gil Cuesta, Preben Aavitsland, Hélène Englund, Ólafur Gudlaugsson, Siri Helene Hauge, Outi Lyytikäinen, Guðrún Sigmundsdóttir, Anders Tegnell, Mikko Virtanen, Tyra Grove Krause

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

During the 2009/10 influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 pandemic, the five Nordic countries adopted different approaches to pandemic vaccination. We compared pandemic vaccination strategies and severe influenza outcomes, in seasons 2009/10 and 2010/11 in these countries with similar influenza surveillance systems. We calculated the cumulative pandemic vaccination coverage in 2009/10 and cumulative incidence rates of laboratory confirmed A(H1N1)pdm09 infections, intensive care unit (ICU) admissions and deaths in 2009/10 and 2010/11. We estimated incidence risk ratios (IRR) in a Poisson regression model to compare those indicators between Denmark and the other countries. The vaccination coverage was lower in Denmark (6.1%) compared with Finland (48.2%), Iceland (44.1%), Norway (41.3%) and Sweden (60.0%). In 2009/10 Denmark had a similar cumulative incidence of A(H1N1)pdm09 ICU admissions and deaths compared with the other countries. In 2010/11 Denmark had a significantly higher cumulative incidence of A(H1N1)pdm09 ICU admissions (IRR: 2.4; 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.9-3.0) and deaths (IRR: 8.3; 95% CI: 5.1-13.5). Compared with Denmark, the other countries had higher pandemic vaccination coverage and experienced less A(H1N1)pdm09-related severe outcomes in 2010/11. Pandemic vaccination may have had an impact on severe influenza outcomes in the post-pandemic season. Surveillance of severe outcomes may be used to compare the impact of influenza between seasons and support different vaccination strategies.

Other keywords

  • Pandemics
  • influenza A(H1N1)pdm09
  • influenza A(H3N2)
  • influenza B virus
  • influenza virus
  • intensive care units
  • vaccines and immunisation
  • Bólusetningar
  • Inflúensa
  • Influenza Vaccines

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