Effectiveness of H1N1 vaccine for the prevention of pandemic influenza in Scotland, UK: a retrospective observational cohort study

Colin Simpson, Lewis Duthie Ritchie, Chris Robertson, Aziz Sheikh, Jim McMenamin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

24 Citations (Scopus)


A targeted vaccination programme for pandemic H1N1 2009 influenza was introduced in Scotland, UK, in October, 2009. We sought to assess the effectiveness of this vaccine in a sample of the Scottish population during the 2009–10 pandemic.

We assessed the effectiveness of the Scottish pandemic H1N1 2009 influenza vaccination with a retrospective cohort design. We linked data of patient-level primary care, hospital records, death certification, and virological swabs to construct our cohort. We estimated vaccine effectiveness in a nationally representative sample of the Scottish population by establishing the risk of hospital admission and death (adjusted for potential confounders) resulting from influenza-related morbidity in vaccinated and unvaccinated patients and laboratory-confirmed cases of influenza H1N1 2009 in a subset of patients.

Pandemic H1N1 2009 influenza vaccination began in week 43 of 2009 (Oct 21, 2009) and was given to 38¿296 (15·5%, 95% CI 15·4–15·6) of 247¿178 people by the end of the study period (Jan 31, 2010). 208¿882 (85%) people were unvaccinated. There were 5207 emergency hospital admissions and 579 deaths in the unvaccinated population and 924 hospital admissions and 71 deaths in the vaccinated population during 23¿893¿359 person-days of observation. The effectiveness of H1N1 vaccination for prevention of emergency hospital admissions from influenza-related disorders was 19·5% (95% CI 0·8–34·7). The vaccine's effectiveness in preventing laboratory-confirmed influenza was 77·0% (95% CI 2·0–95·0).

Pandemic H1N1 2009 influenza vaccination was associated with protection against pandemic influenza and a reduction in hospital admissions from influenza-related disorders in Scotland during the 2009–10 pandemic.

National Institute for Health Research Health Technology Assessment Programme (UK).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)696-702
Number of pages7
JournalLancet Infectious Diseases
Issue number9
Early online date25 Jun 2012
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2012



  • H1N1
  • pandemic influenza
  • vaccine effectiveness
  • data linkage

Cite this