Seasonal influenza vaccination effectiveness against pandemic influenza
There has been uncertainty whether the 2009 seasonal influenza vaccination influences the risk of pandemic influenza infection. In a study based on the Capital & Coast District Health Board Occupational Health Service, we investigated 548 healthcare workers who presented with an influenza-like illness during the influenza pandemic. We identified that the 2009 seasonal influenza vaccine had no protective effect against pandemic influenza infection. It was evident that to protect against further waves of the current pandemic influenza or future pandemics in which the influenza virus is antigenically distinct from contemporary seasonal influenza viruses, it would be necessary to vaccinate with a specific pandemic influenza vaccine, or a seasonal influenza vaccine that includes the pandemic influenza serotype. The study which was funded by the Health Research Council of New Zealand, has contributed to influenza vaccination policy in New Zealand.