BackgroundDuring the 2015/16 influenza season in Europe, the cocirculating influenza viruses were A(H1N1)pdm09 and B/Victoria, which was antigenically distinct from the B/Yamagata component in the trivalent influenza vaccine.MethodsWe used the test-negative design in a multicentre case-control study in twelve European countries to measure 2015/16 influenza vaccine effectiveness (VE) against medically attended influenza-like illness (ILI) laboratory-confirmed as influenza. General practitioners swabbed a systematic sample of consulting ILI patients and a random sample of influenza-positive swabs was sequenced. We calculated adjusted VE against influenza A(H1N1)pdm09, A(H1N1)pdm09 genetic group 6B.1 and influenza B overall and by age group.ResultsWe included 11430 ILI patients, of which 2272 were influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 and 2901 were influenza B cases. Overall VE against influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 was 32.9% (95% CI: 15.5-46.7). Among those aged 0-14, 15-64 and 65years, VE against A(H1N1)pdm09 was 31.9% (95% CI: -32.3 to 65.0), 41.4% (95% CI: 20.5-56.7) and 13.2% (95% CI: -38.0 to 45.3), respectively. Overall VE against influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 genetic group 6B.1 was 32.8% (95% CI: -4.1 to 56.7). Among those aged 0-14, 15-64 and 65years, VE against influenza B was -47.6% (95% CI: -124.9 to 3.1), 27.3% (95% CI: -4.6 to 49.4) and 9.3% (95% CI: -44.1 to 42.9), respectively.ConclusionsVaccine effectiveness (VE) against influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 and its genetic group 6B.1 was moderate in children and adults, and low among individuals 65years. Vaccine effectiveness (VE) against influenza B was low and heterogeneous among age groups. More information on effects of previous vaccination and previous infection is needed to understand the VE results against influenza B in the context of a mismatched vaccine.
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