The objectives of these studies were to analyse the effect of mass influenza immunization in children on the morbidity of unvaccinated non-institutionalized elderly during an influenza epidemic. A mass vaccination campaign with vaccine was conducted in children aged 3–6 years attending kindergartens (57·4% of 6374) and aged 7–17 years attending schools (72% of 34 237) in two communities of the Moscow region. The clinical effectiveness of vaccination was 60·9% for kindergartens and 68·8% for schools. There were 3·4 times fewer episodes of influenza-like illnesses and 1·7–2·6 fewer episodes in all seven diseases which are possible complications of influenza out of the 10 evaluated diseases in 158 451 unvaccinated non-institutionalized elderly people during the influenza epidemic compared with the control communities. The differences were found to be statistically significant. Mass vaccination of children attending child institutions brought about a significant reduction of both influenza-like illnesses in children and influenza-associated illnesses in unvaccinated non-institutionalized elderly persons living in the home setting.
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