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We present England 2021/22 end-of-season adjusted vaccine effectiveness (aVE) against laboratory confirmed influenza related emergency care use in children aged 1–17 and in adults aged 50+, and serological findings in vaccinated vs unvaccinated adults by hemagglutination inhibition assay. Influenza vaccination has been routinely offered to all children aged 2–10 years and adults aged 65 years + in England. In 2021/22, the offer was extended to children to age 15 years, and adults aged 50–64 years. Influenza activity rose during the latter half of the 2021/22 season, while remaining comparatively low due to COVID-19 pandemic control measures. Influenza A(H3N2) strains predominated. A test negative design was used to estimate aVE by vaccine type. Cases and controls were identified within a sentinel laboratory surveillance system. Vaccine histories were obtained from the National Immunisation Management Service (NIMS), an influenza and COVID-19 vaccine registry. These were linked to emergency department presentations (excluding accidents) with respiratory swabbing ≤ 14 days before or ≤ 7 days after presentation. Amongst adults, 423 positive and 32,917 negative samples were eligible for inclusion, and 145 positive and 6,438 negative samples among children. Those admitted to hospital were further identified. In serology against the circulating A(H3N2) A/Bangladesh/4005/2020-like strain, 61 % of current season adult vaccinees had titres ≥ 1:40 compared to 17 % of those unvaccinated in 2020/21 or 2021/22 (p < 0.001). We found good protection from influenza vaccination against influenza requiring emergency care in children (72.7 % [95 % CI 52.7, 84.3 %]) and modest effectiveness in adults (26.1 % [95 % CI 4.5, 42.8 %]). Adult VE was higher for A(H1N1) (81 % [95 % CI 50, 93 %]) than A(H3N2) (33 % [95 % CI 6, 53 %]). Consistent protection was observable across preschool, primary and secondary school aged children. Imperfect test specificity combined with very low prevalence may have biased estimates towards null. With limited influenza circulation, the study could not determine differences by vaccine types.

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