Background: Since influenza predisposes to bacterial pneumonia caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae, studies have suggested that pneumococcal vaccination might reduce its occurrence during pandemics. We assessed the effectiveness of pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccination alone and in combination with influenza vaccination in preventing influenza hospitalization during the 2009–2010 pandemic wave and 2010–2011 influenza epidemic.
Methods: We conducted a multicenter case-control study in 36 Spanish hospitals. We selected patients aged ≥ 18 y hospitalized with confirmed influenza and two hospitalized controls per case, matched according to age, date of hospitalization and province of residence. Multivariate analysis was performed using conditional logistic regression. Subjects were considered vaccinated if they had received the pneumococcal or seasonal influenza vaccine > 14 d (or > 7 d for pandemic influenza vaccine) before the onset of symptoms (cases) or the onset of symptoms in matched cases (controls).
Results: 1187 cases and 2328 controls were included. The adjusted estimate of effectiveness of pneumococcal vaccination in preventing influenza hospitalization was 41% (95% CI 8–62) in all patients and 43% (95% CI 2–78) in patients aged ≥ 65 y. The adjusted effectiveness of dual PPV23 and influenza vaccination was 81% (95% CI 65–90) in all patients and 76% (95% CI 46–90) in patients aged ≥ 65 y. The adjusted effectiveness of influenza vaccination alone was 58% (95% CI 38–72).
Conclusions: In elderly people and adults with chronic illness, pneumococcal vaccination may reduce hospitalizations during the influenza season. In people vaccinated with both the influenza and pneumococcal vaccines, the benefit in hospitalizations avoided was greater than in those vaccinated only against influenza.