Cochrane Summaries

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Vaccines for preventing seasonal influenza and its complications in people aged 65 or older

Jefferson T, Di Pietrantonj C, Al-Ansary LA, Ferroni E, Thorning S, Thomas RE
Published Online: 
17 February 2010

Influenza vaccination of elderly individuals is recommended worldwide as people aged 65 and older are at a higher risk of complications, hospitalisations and deaths from influenza. This review looked at evidence from experimental and non-experimental studies carried out over 40 years of influenza vaccination. We included 75 studies. These were grouped first according to study design and then the setting (community or long-term care facilities). The results are mostly based on non-experimental (observational) studies, which are at greater risk of bias, as not many good quality trials were available. Trivalent inactivated vaccines are the most commonly used influenza vaccines. Due to the poor quality of the available evidence, any conclusions regarding the effects of influenza vaccines for people aged 65 years or older cannot be drawn. The public health safety profile of the vaccines appears to be acceptable.

This record should be cited as: 
Jefferson T, Di Pietrantonj C, Al-Ansary LA, Ferroni E, Thorning S, Thomas RE. Vaccines for preventing influenza in the elderly. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2010, Issue 2. Art. No.: CD004876. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD004876.pub3
Assessed as up to date: 
7 October 2009