Influenza vaccination effectiveness for people aged under 65 years in Japan, 2013/2014 season: application of a doubly robust method to a large-scale, real-world dataset

Natsumi Shibata, Shinya Kimura, Takahiro Hoshino, Hisashi Urushihara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


BACKGROUND: Influenza vaccination is recognized as a primary public health intervention which prevents the illness of patients and relieves the societal burdens of influenza for medical community as well as the economy. To date, no effectiveness study of influenza vaccination has been conducted including a large population with a wide age span, in Japan. Here, we evaluated the clinical effectiveness of influenza vaccination in a large Japanese population. METHODS: We conducted a cohort study using a large-scale claims database for employee health care insurance plans. Vaccination status was identified using plan records for influenza vaccination subsidies. We excluded people aged 65 years or more because of the unavailability of vaccination records. Effectiveness of vaccination in preventing influenza and its complication was evaluated with doubly robust methods using inversed probability treatment weighting to adjust health conscious behaviours and other confounders. RESULTS: During the 2013/2014 influenza season, 369,425 subjects with age range from 1 to 64 years were eligible. Vaccination rate was 39.5% and an estimated odds ratio (OR) for influenza onset was 0.775 after doubly robust adjustment. Age-stratified ORs were significantly reduced in all age groups; lowest in subjects aged 1 to 4 years (0.600) and highest in those aged 13 to 19 (0.938). ORs for all the influenza complication outcomes were also statistically significant (0.403-0.709). CONCLUSIONS: We confirmed the clinical effectiveness of influenza vaccination in people aged 1 to 64 years. Influenza vaccination significantly prevented influenza onset and was more effective in reducing secondary risks of influenza complications.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
JournalBMC infectious diseases
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Jul 5



  • Doubly robust method
  • Influenza vaccines
  • Japan
  • Propensity score
  • Vaccine effectiveness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases

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