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Review: vaccines prevent influenza and influenza-like illness in healthy children >2 years of age

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 Q In healthy children <16 years of age, are influenza vaccines efficacious (ie, prevent confirmed influenza) and effective (ie, prevent influenza-like illness)?


Embedded ImageData sources:

Medline (1966–2004), EMBASE/Excerpta Medica (1974–2004), Cochrane Library (Issue 1, 2005), Biological Abstracts (1969–2004), Science Citation Index (1974–2004), Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System website (, and vaccine manufacturers and authors of relevant studies.

Embedded ImageStudy selection and assessment:

randomised controlled trials (RCTs) or semi-randomised, cohort, and case controlled studies in any language that enrolled healthy children <16 years of age in any geographical location; compared any influenza vaccine (including unlicensed types) given independently, in any dose, preparation, or time schedule, with placebo or no intervention. 51 studies (n = 263 987) met the selection criteria: 14 RCTs and 11 cohort studies assessed vaccine efficacy and …

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  • For correspondence: Dr S Smith, Oxford University, Oxford, UK

  • Source of funding: no external funding.