CDC Study Finds Flu Vaccination Prevents Severe Illness in Children

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently published a study in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases (CID) showing that influenza vaccination protected children against serious flu illness even when they were infected with a flu virus that was antigenically different from the vaccine virus. According to the CDC, this reinforces the benefit of flu vaccination, even when circulating flu viruses have drifted and are different from the virus used in vaccine production.

The CDC study reports that flu vaccination reduced the risk of severe flu in children by 78 percent against similar flu A viruses and 47 percent against flu A viruses that had drifted from the vaccine virus. Further, the vaccine was 76 percent effective at preventing life-threatening influenza, which included invasive mechanical ventilation, CPR, or other severe complications including death. The study adds evidence indicating that some people who are vaccinated still get sick, but the vaccination can decrease illness severity.

Additional information from the CDC is available here.