Background: Data are limited on the burden of influenza and seasonal influenza vaccine effectiveness (VE) in children with sickle cell disease (SCD). Methods: We used a prospectively collected clinical registry of SCD patients 6 months to 21 years of age to determine the influenza cases per 100 patient-years, vaccination rates, and a test-negative case-control study design to estimate influenza VE against medically attended laboratory-confirmed influenza infection. Influenza-positive cases were randomly matched to test-negative controls on age and influenza season in 1:1 ratio. We used adjusted logistic regression models to compare odds ratio (OR) of vaccination in cases to controls. We calculated VE as [100% × (1 − adjusted OR)] and computed 95% confidence intervals (CIs) around the estimate. Results: There were 1037 children with SCD who were tested for influenza, 307 children (29.6%) had at least one influenza infection (338 infections, incidence rate 3.7 per 100 person-years; 95% CI, 3.4-4.1) and 56.2% of those tested received annual influenza vaccine. Overall VE pooled over five seasons was 22.3% (95% CI, −7.3% to 43.7%). Adjusted VE estimates ranged from 39.7% (95% CI, −70.1% to 78.6%) in 2015/2016 to −5.9% (95% CI, −88.4% to 40.4%) in the 2016/17 seasons. Influenza VE varied by age and was highest in children 1-5 years of age (66.6%; 95% CI, 30.3-84.0). Adjusted VE against acute chest syndrome during influenza infection was 39.4% (95% CI, −113.0 to 82.8%). Conclusions: Influenza VE in patients with SCD varies by season and age. Multicenter prospective studies are needed to better establish and monitor influenza VE among children with SCD.
- sickle cell disease
- vaccine effectiveness