Influenza vaccine effectiveness in Australia: results from the Australian Sentinel Practices Research Network
The Australian Sentinel Practices Research Network (ASPREN) is a network of sentinel general practitioners run through the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners and the University of Adelaide.1 It has collected de-identified information on influenza-like illness and other conditions seen in general practice across Australia since 1991. ASPREN GPs are distributed based on a target of one GP per Division of General Practice, or one GP per 200 000 population for metropolitan areas and one GP per 50 000 population for rural and remote areas. Previous evaluations of ASPREN suggest that it provides timely data on influenza-like illness (ILI), and rates consistent with those from other surveillance systems.2,3 Since 2009, GPs have collected specimens for influenza testing, allowing estimation of influenza vaccine effectiveness (VE). We estimated influenza vaccine coverage and effectiveness for the 2012 season.
Data were collected throughout 2012. A total of 275 GPs submitted data to ASPREN, of whom 110 submitted swabs. GPs are instructed to swab, at their discretion, roughly 25% of patients presenting with ILI (fever, cough and fatigue) and forward samples to SA Pathology for testing (see Appendix…