The burden of influenza in older adults: meeting the challenge
- 123 Downloads
Influenza is an acute respiratory infection for which vaccination is our best prevention strategy. Small seasonal changes in circulating influenza viruses (antigenic drift) result in the need for annual influenza vaccination, in which the vaccine formulation is updated to better match the predominant circulating influenza viruses that have undergone important antigenic changes. Although the burden of influenza infection and its complications is the highest in older adults, vaccine effectiveness is the lowest in this vulnerable population. This is largely due to waning of the immune response with age known as “immune senescence”, and presents an important, unmet challenge. Possible strategies to tackle this include adjuvant and high-dose vaccines, and herd immunity induced by greater vaccine uptake.
KeywordsInfluenza Infection Vaccine efficacy Vaccine effectiveness Vaccination Herd immunity
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
Dr. Loeb has received funding from CIHR, NIH, WHO, as well as from Sanofi Pasteur, Seqirus, and Pfizer, as well as honoraria for advising or speaking for these companies.
This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.
Informed consent is not applicable.
- 18.Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (2018) Influenza (Flu) vaccine supply for 2018–2019 season. <https://www.cdc.gov/flu/prevent/vaxsupply.htm>. Accessed 12 July 2019
- 24.Savulescu C, Valenciano M, de Mateo S et al (2010) Estimating the influenza vaccine effectiveness in elderly on a yearly basis using the Spanish influenza surveillance network—pilot case-control studies using different control groups, 2008–2009 season, Spain. Vaccine 28:2903–2907CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- 32.Izurieta HS, Thadani N, Shay DK et al (2015) Comparative effectiveness of high-dose versus standard-dose influenza vaccines in US residents aged 65 years and older from 2012 to 2013 using Medicare data: a retrospective cohort analysis. Lancet Infect Dis 15:293–300CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- 40.Clarke TC, Norris T, Schiller JS (2017) Early release of selected estimates based on data from 2016 National Health Interview Survey. National Center for Health Statistics. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nhis.htm. Accessed 27 Apr 2019