Martin I. Meltzer, PhD; Carolyn B. Bridges, MD
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Meltzer M., Bridges C.; Economic Analysis of Influenza Vaccination and Treatment. Ann Intern Med. 2003;138:608. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-138-7-200304010-00024
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 2003;138(7):608.
TO THE EDITOR:
Lee and colleagues (1) concluded that routine influenza immunization of healthy working adults would be cost saving. However, they made two very questionable assumptions in their base case. They assumed an annual probability of 15% for influenza-related symptomatic illness among healthy adults. On the basis of seroconversion, published studies (2–4) have measured adult influenza infection rates ranging from 1.5% to 23.3% (mean, 13%). All influenza infections, however, do not result in symptomatic illness, and it is illness that actually incurs costs. In published studies, approximately 30% to 65% of infections (average, 51%) result in illnesses. Thus, actual annual rates of influenza illness range from 0.5% to 15.1%, with an average of approximately 7%, not the 15% assumed by Lee and colleagues. The maximum influenza-attributable rate of 35% that Lee and colleagues referenced (5) would be probable during a pandemic but exceedingly rare during the interpandemic period.
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Print ISSN: 0003-4819 | Online ISSN: 1539-3704
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