OBJECTIVE: To compare mortality rates due to respiratory diseases among elderly individuals residing in the Federal District of Brasília, Brazil, prior to and after the implementation of a national influenza vaccination campaign. METHODS: This was an ecological time series analysis. Data regarding the population of individuals who were over 60 years of age between 1996 and 2009 were obtained from official databases. The variables of interest were the crude mortality rate (CMR), the mortality rate due to the respiratory disease (MRRD), and the proportional mortality ratio (PMR) for respiratory diseases. We performed a qualitative analysis of the data for the period prior to and after the implementation of the vaccination campaign (1996-1999 and 2000-2009, respectively). RESULTS: The CMR increased with advancing age. Over the course of the study period, we observed reductions in the CMR in all of the age brackets studied, particularly among those aged 80 years or older. Reductions in the MRRD were also found in all of the age groups, especially in those aged 80 years or older. In addition, there was a decrease in the PMR for respiratory diseases in all age groups throughout the study period. The most pronounced decrease in the PMR for respiratory diseases in the ≥ 70 year age bracket occurred in 2000 (immediately following the implementation of the national vaccination campaign); in 2001, that rate increased in all age groups, despite the greater adherence to the vaccination campaign in comparison with that recorded for 2000. CONCLUSIONS: Influenza vaccination appears to have a positive impact on the prevention of mortality due to respiratory diseases, particularly in the population aged 70 or over.