Objective: The objective of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of inactivated influenza vaccine in preventing acute otitis media (AOM) and otitis media with effusion (OME) in children aged 6 to 60 months who attend day care.
Study Design: This prospective, single-blind study was conducted in 8 day care centers in Ankara, Turkey. One hundred nineteen (61 vaccinated and 58 unvaccinated against influenza) healthy children were examined at study entry and at 6-week intervals for 6 months by the same 2 otorhinolaryngologists who were blinded about the vaccination status of the children. The frequency of AOM and OME is compared between the 2 groups and the effect of influenza season on frequency of episodes was evaluated. Based on national influenza laboratory data, the influenza season was determined to be the period between December 15, 2003, and January 31, 2004.
Result: The frequencies of AOM, OME and total otitis media episodes in vaccinated children were 2.3%, 22.8% and 25.2%, respectively, and these frequencies were 5.2%, 31.1% and 36.3% in the unvaccinated group. The difference was statistically significant (P < 0.01). This difference was especially prominent in the influenza season (P < 0.05).
Conclusion: Influenza vaccine is effective in reducing AOM and OME episodes in 6- to 60-month-old day care children, especially during influenza season.