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AIM: High-dose quadrivalent influenza vaccine (QIV-HD) has been shown to be more effective than standard-dose (QIV-SD) in reducing influenza infection, but whether diabetes status affects relative vaccine effectiveness (rVE) is unknown. We aimed to assess rVE on change in glycated haemoglobin [HbA1c (∆HbA1c)], incident diabetes, total all-cause hospitalizations (first + recurrent), and a composite of all-cause mortality and hospitalization for pneumonia or influenza. METHODS: DANFLU-1 was a pragmatic, open-label trial randomizing adults (65-79 years) 1:1 to QIV-HD or QIV-SD during the 2021/22 influenza season. Cox proportional hazards regression was used to estimate rVE against incident diabetes and the composite endpoint, negative binomial regression to estimate rVE against all-cause hospitalizations, and ANCOVA when assessing rVE against ∆HbA1c. RESULTS: Of the 12 477 participants, 1162 (9.3%) had diabetes at baseline. QIV-HD, compared with QIV-SD, was associated with a reduction in the rate of all-cause hospitalizations irrespective of diabetes [overall: 647 vs. 742 events, incidence rate ratio (IRR): 0.87, 95% CI (0.76-0.99); diabetes: 93 vs. 118 events, IRR: 0.80, 95% CI (0.55-1.15); without diabetes: 554 vs. 624 events, IRR: 0.88, 95% CI (0.76-1.01), pinteraction = 0.62]. Among those with diabetes, QIV-HD was associated with a lower risk of the composite outcome [2 vs. 11 events, HR: 0.18, 95% CI (0.04-0.83)] but had no effect on ∆HbA1c; QIV-HD adjusted mean difference: ∆ + 0.2 mmol/mol, 95% CI (-0.9 to 1.2). QIV-HD did not affect the risk of incident diabetes [HR 1.18, 95% CI (0.94-1.47)]. CONCLUSIONS: In this post-hoc analysis, QIV-HD versus QIV-SD was associated with an increased rVE against the composite of all-cause death and hospitalization for pneumonia/influenza, and the all-cause hospitalization rate irrespective of diabetes status.

Original publication




Journal article


Diabetes obes metab

Publication Date





1821 - 1829


diabetes, influenza, pragmatic, randomized controlled trial, registry, vaccine, Aged, Humans, Diabetes Mellitus, Hospitalization, Influenza Vaccines, Influenza, Human, Pneumonia, Pragmatic Clinical Trials as Topic