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Influenza vaccination in the elderly during the COVID-19 pandemic: A population-based study in 133 Brazilian cities


  • Ana Maria B Menezes Universidade Federal de Pelotas
  • Pedro Curi Hallal Universidade Federal de Pelotas
  • Mariângela Freitas Silveira Universidade Federal de Pelotas
  • Fernando C Wehrmeister Universidade Federal de Pelotas
  • Bernardo Lessa Horta Universidade Federal de Pelotas
  • Aluísio Jardim Dornellas de Barros Universidade Federal de Pelotas
  • Fernando Pires Hartwig Universidade Federal de Pelotas
  • Paula Oliveira UFPEL
  • Luís Paulo Vidaletti Universidade Federal de Pelotas
  • Marilia A Mesenburg Universidade Federal de Pelotas
  • Nadege Jacques Universidade Federal de Pelotas
  • Fernando C Barros Universidade Católica de Pelotas
  • Cesar Gomes Victora Universidade Federal de Pelotas



vaccination coverage, influenza virus, elderly, coronavirus infections


Influenza vaccination coverage in the elderly was analysed during the COVID-19 pandemic through the EPICOVID-19, a population-based study conducted in 133 cities from the 26 Brazilian states and Federal District. Twenty five census tracts were sampled with probability proportional to the size of the tract, 10 households by census tracts and one random person interviewed. A total of 33,250 people were interviewed being 8,262  ≥60 years old. The elderly were asked whether they had had a flu vaccine in 2020. Vaccination coverage was 82.3% (CI95%=8 0.1-84.2) with no difference by sex, age, and region. Higher vaccination coverage was observed in the richest compared to the poorest (84.7% and 80.1%; p=<0.001), and among those with higher schooling (87.3% and 83.2; p=0.007). The indigenous presented lower coverage (56.9%) than other ethnic groups (>80%) (p=0.056). A positive association existed between vaccination coverage and number of comorbidities for men, but not for women. Most of those who were vaccinated (97.5%) received the vaccine in the public health system. The private was chosen mostly in the south, by the rich and by those with more schooling. Vaccination coverage was seven percentage points lower than the government target, and inequalities should be reverted in future campaigns.


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Health Sciences