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Concept: Influenza research


The health burden caused by seasonal influenza is substantial. We sought to examine the effectiveness of influenza vaccination against admission to hospital for acute cardiovascular and respiratory conditions and all-cause death in people with type 2 diabetes.

Concepts: Diabetes mellitus type 2, Pneumonia, Vaccine, Vaccination, Influenza, Influenza pandemic, Influenza vaccine, Influenza research


Seasonal influenza is an important disease which results in 250,000-500,000 annual deaths worldwide. Global targets for vaccination coverage rates (VCRs) in high-risk groups are at least 75% in adults ≥65 years and increased coverage in other risk groups. The International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations Influenza Vaccine Supply (IFPMA IVS) International Task Force developed a survey methodology in 2008, to assess the global distribution of influenza vaccine doses as a proxy for VCRs. This paper updates the previous survey results on absolute numbers of influenza vaccine doses distributed between 2004 and 2013 inclusive, and dose distribution rates per 1000 population, and provides a qualitative assessment of the principal enablers and barriers to seasonal influenza vaccination. The two main findings from the quantitative portion of the survey are the continued negative trend for dose distribution in the EURO region and the perpetuation of appreciable differences in scale of dose distribution between WHO regions, with no observed convergence in the rates of doses distributed per 1000 population over time. The main findings from the qualitative portion of the survey were that actively managing the vaccination program in real-time and ensuring political commitment to vaccination are important enablers of vaccination, whereas insufficient access to vaccination and lack of political commitment to seasonal influenza vaccination programs are likely contributing to vaccination target failures. In all regions of the world, seasonal influenza vaccination is underutilized as a public health tool. The survey provides evidence of lost opportunity to protect populations against potentially serious influenza-associated disease. We call on the national and international public health communities to re-evaluate their political commitment to the prevention of the annual influenza disease burden and to develop a systematic approach to improve vaccine distribution equitably.

Concepts: Public health, Pneumonia, Vaccine, Vaccination, Vaccination schedule, Influenza, Influenza vaccine, Influenza research



Although two antigenically distinct B strain lineages of influenza have co-circulated globally since the mid-1980s, trivalent influenza vaccines (TIVs) contain only one, resulting in frequent mismatches. This study examined the safety and immunogenicity of an inactivated quadrivalent influenza vaccine (QIV) candidate.

Concepts: Pneumonia, Vaccine, Vaccination, Influenza, Avian influenza, Influenza pandemic, Influenza vaccine, Influenza research


Vaccination remains the principal way to control seasonal infections and is the most effective method of reducing influenza-associated morbidity and mortality. Since the 1940s, the main method of producing influenza vaccines has been an egg-based production process. However, in the event of a pandemic, this method has a significant limitation, as the time lag from strain isolation to final dose formulation and validation is six months. Indeed, production in eggs is a relatively slow process and production yields are both unpredictable and highly variable from strain to strain. In particular, if the next influenza pandemic were to arise from an avian influenza virus, and thus reduce the egg-laying hen population, there would be a shortage of embryonated eggs available for vaccine manufacturing. Although the production of egg-derived vaccines will continue, new technological developments have generated a cell-culture-based influenza vaccine and other more recent platforms, such as synthetic influenza vaccines.

Concepts: Virus, Vaccine, Vaccination, Influenza, Avian influenza, Influenza pandemic, Influenza vaccine, Influenza research


Wild birds play a major role in the evolution, maintenance, and spread of avian influenza viruses. However, surveillance for these viruses in wild birds is sporadic, geographically biased, and often limited to the last outbreak virus. To identify opportunities to optimize wild bird surveillance for understanding viral diversity, we reviewed responses to a World Organisation for Animal Health-administered survey, government reports to this organization, articles on Web of Knowledge, and the Influenza Research Database. At least 119 countries conducted avian influenza virus surveillance in wild birds during 2008-2013, but coordination and standardization was lacking among surveillance efforts, and most focused on limited subsets of influenza viruses. Given high financial and public health burdens of recent avian influenza outbreaks, we call for sustained, cost-effective investments in locations with high avian influenza diversity in wild birds and efforts to promote standardized sampling, testing, and reporting methods, including full-genome sequencing and sharing of isolates with the scientific community.

Concepts: Evolution, Microbiology, Virus, Influenza, Avian influenza, Bird, Influenza vaccine, Influenza research


Development of a universal influenza vaccine is a research priority for the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) at the National Institutes of Health. To facilitate this goal, we convened a workshop in Rockville, Maryland to identify knowledge gaps in influenza research and develop strategies to fill them.

Concepts: Infectious disease, Vaccine, Infection, Tuberculosis, Influenza, Avian influenza, Influenza vaccine, Influenza research


In Hong Kong, people aged 50-64 years were added as a recommended priority group (recommended group) for influenza vaccination by the Department of Health (DH) starting from 2011/12 onwards. The coverage rate of influenza vaccination for this age group was suboptimal at 8.5 % in 2012/13. This study investigates the factors associated with the uptake of influenza vaccination among adults in Hong Kong aged 50-64 years.

Concepts: Pneumonia, Vaccine, Vaccination, Influenza, Avian influenza, Influenza pandemic, Influenza vaccine, Influenza research


During the 2011-2012 influenza season, we enrolled hospitalized adults with acute respiratory illness and tested each for influenza using RT-PCR. Influenza vaccination was verified in 35% (6/17) of adults with influenza-associated hospitalizations compared to 64% (97/152) of test negative controls; adjusted vaccine effectiveness was 71.4% (95%CI: 17.1%, 94.9%).

Concepts: Pneumonia, Vaccine, Vaccination, Influenza, Avian influenza, Influenza pandemic, Influenza vaccine, Influenza research


The Serious Outcomes Surveillance (SOS) Network was established to monitor seasonal influenza complications among hospitalized Canadian adults and to assess the effectiveness of influenza vaccination against severe outcomes. Here we report age- and strain-specific vaccine effectiveness (VE) in preventing severe outcomes during a season characterized by mixed outbreaks of four different influenza strains.

Concepts: Pneumonia, Vaccine, Vaccination, Influenza, Avian influenza, Influenza pandemic, Influenza vaccine, Influenza research