Arch Dis Child 89:734-735 doi:10.1136/adc.2003.030999
  • Community child health, public health, and epidemiology

Effectiveness of influenza vaccine for the prevention of asthma exacerbations

  1. C Christy1,
  2. C A Aligne2,
  3. P Auinger3,
  4. T Pulcino1,
  5. M Weitzman3
  1. 1Strong Children’s Research Center, Rochester General Hospital, Rochester, NY, USA
  2. 2Pediathink, Rochester, NY, USA
  3. 3Department of Pediatrics, University of Rochester School of Medicine & Dentistry, the American Academy of Pediatrics Center for Child Health Research, USA
  1. Correspondence to:
    Dr C Christy
    Rochester General Hospital, Department of Pediatrics, 1425 Portland Avenue, Rochester, NY 14621-3095, USA;
  • Accepted 2 December 2003


Background: There is a lack of clinical evidence that annual vaccination against influenza prevents asthma exacerbations in children.

Methods: Retrospective cohort study of 800 children with asthma, where one half did, and the other half did not receive the influenza vaccine. The two groups were compared with respect to clinic visits, emergency department (ED) visits, and hospitalisations for asthma. In multivariable analyses, adjustment was made for baseline asthma severity, prior utilisation of health services, receipt of vaccine in the previous year, and demographic variables.

Results: After adjusting for other variables, the vaccine group had a significantly increased risk of asthma related clinic visits and ED visits (odds ratios 3.4 and 1.9, respectively).

Conclusion: This study failed to provide evidence that the influenza vaccine prevents paediatric asthma exacerbations.


  • Conflict of interest: The authors have no financial arrangement with any companies that produce influenza vaccine or their competitors

  • Presented in part at the Pediatric Academic Societies meeting in San Francisco, CA, May 1999

Responses to this article