The Causal Interpretation of "Overall Vaccine Effectiveness" in Test-Negative Studies.
Shuo Feng, Sheena G Sullivan, Eric J Tchetgen Tchetgen, Benjamin J Cowling
Am J Epidemiol | Published : 2021
Test-negative studies are commonly used to estimate influenza vaccine effectiveness (VE). In a typical study, an "overall VE" estimate based on data from the entire sample may be reported. However, there may be heterogeneity in VE, particularly by age. Therefore, in this article we discuss the potential for a weighted average of age-specific VE estimates to provide a more meaningful measure of overall VE. We illustrate this perspective first using simulations to evaluate how overall VE would be biased when certain age groups are overrepresented. We found that unweighted overall VE estimates tended to be higher than weighted VE estimates when children were overrepresented and lower when elder..View full abstract