Uptake and effectiveness of a trivalent inactivated influenza vaccine in children in urban and rural Kenya, 2010 to 2012

Mark A Katz, Emmaculate Lebo, Gideon O Emukule, Nancy Otieno, Deborah L Caselton, Godfrey Bigogo, Henry Njuguna, Philip M Muthoka, Lilian W Waiboci, Marc-Alain Widdowson, Xiyan Xu, Moses K Njenga, Joshua A Mott, Robert F Breiman

Research output: Contribution to journalA1: Web of Science-articlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: In Africa, recent surveillance has demonstrated a high burden of influenza, but influenza vaccine is rarely used. In Kenya, a country with a tropical climate, influenza has been shown to circulate year-round, like in other tropical countries.

METHODS: During 3 months in 2010 and 2011 and 2 months in 2012, the Kenya Medical Research Institute/Centers for Disease Control and Prevention-Kenya offered free injectable trivalent inactivated influenza vaccine to children 6 months to 10 years old in 2 resource-poor communities in Kenya-Kibera and Lwak (total population ~50,000). We conducted a case-control study to evaluate vaccine effectiveness (VE) in preventing laboratory-confirmed influenza associated with influenza-like illness and acute lower respiratory illness.

RESULTS: Of the approximately 18,000 eligible children, 41%, 48% and 51% received at least 1 vaccine in 2010, 2011 and 2012, respectively; 30%, 36% and 38% were fully vaccinated. VE among fully vaccinated children was 57% [95% confidence interval (CI): 29% to 74%] during a 6-month follow-up period, 39% (95% CI: 17% to 56%) during a 9-month follow-up period and 48% (95% CI: 32% to 61%) during a 12-month follow-up period. For the 12-month follow-up period, VE was statistically significant in children <5 years and in children 5 to <10 years old (50% and 46%, respectively).

CONCLUSIONS: In Kenya, parents of nearly half of the eligible children <10 years old chose to get their children vaccinated with a free influenza vaccine. During a 12-month follow-up period, the vaccine was moderately effective in preventing medically attended influenza-associated respiratory illness.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPediatric Infectious Diseases Journal
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)322-9
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Case-Control Studies
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • History, 21st Century
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Influenza Vaccines/adverse effects
  • Influenza, Human/prevention & control
  • Kenya/epidemiology
  • Male
  • Mass Vaccination
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care
  • Population Surveillance
  • Rural Population
  • Urban Population


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