Scientific Paper 83 : Flu – effect of vaccine in elderly care home residents: a randomized trial.

February 4, 2016 2:13 pm

Gaughran, F., et al. (2007) – J Am Geriatr Soc 55(12): 1912-1920.


To determine whether assessing seroprotection after influenza vaccine and administering booster vaccination where not achieved reduces hospitalization and death. To estimate the overall seroprotection rate of influenza vaccine.


A two-arm, partially blind, randomized, multicenter, parallel-group, controlled trial.


Twenty-six care homes in three South London boroughs in fall 2004. Two hundred seventy-seven elderly permanent care home residents meeting eligibility criteria.


Postvaccination blood samples were randomized to booster evaluation or no booster evaluation (control). If evaluation revealed inadequate seroprotection, a booster vaccine was administered. Primary outcome was hospitalization to end April 2005; secondary outcomes were death, antibiotic use, and seroprotection.


Sixty percent of the controls and 41% of the booster evaluation group responded to routine vaccination. Booster vaccination where indicated increased seroprotection rates in the booster evaluation group to 66%. Treatment groups did not differ in any outcome measures in the intention-to-treat analysis (hospitalization odds ratio=1.02, 95% confidence interval=0.55-1.87). There was a tendency towards greater differences between groups in the per-protocol analysis than in the intention-to-treat analysis, particularly regarding seroprotection rates. The same effect was observed in the a priori exploratory analysis of residents not seroprotected after routine vaccination alone.


In a year without circulating influenza, there is no clinical benefit of administering a booster vaccine if routine trivalent vaccination fails to result in seroprotection. Hemagglutination titers rose in two strains postbooster vaccination but fell against the novel strain, Wyoming. The benefit of such a booster strategy when influenza is prevalent thus remains uncertain.

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