OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the effects of influenza vaccination with or without heptavalent pneumococcal conjugate vaccination on respiratory tract infections (RTIs) in children.
STUDY DESIGN: This was a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial comprising 579 children age 18 to 72 months with a previous history of physician-diagnosed RTI, recruited between 2003 and 2005. The children were assigned to 2 doses of parenteral inactivated trivalent subunit influenza plus heptavalent pneumococcal conjugate vaccination (TIV+PCV7), influenza plus placebo vaccination (TIV+plac), or control hepatitis B virus vaccination plus placebo (HBV+plac). Main outcome measures were febrile RTI and related polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-confirmed influenza, primary care visits, antibiotic prescriptions, and acute otitis media (AOM) episodes.
RESULTS: During influenza seasons, febrile RTI were reduced by 24% (95% confidence interval [CI] = 1% to 42%) in the TIV+PCV7 group and by 13% (95% CI = -12% to 32%) in the TIV+plac group compared with the control group. The occurrence of PCR-confirmed influenza was reduced by 52% (95% CI = 7% to 75%) in the TIV+PCV7 group and by 51% (95% CI = 3% to 75%) in the TIV+plac group. Episodes of AOM were reduced by 57% (95% CI = 6% to 80%) in the TIV+PCV7 group and by 71% (95% CI = 30% to 88%) in the TIV+plac group. Outside of the influenza seasons, no significant effects of vaccinations were demonstrated on the studied outcomes.
CONCLUSIONS: During influenza seasons, influenza vaccination with or without pneumococcal conjugate vaccination substantially reduced cases of confirmed influenza and AOM episodes.