- “The Committee agreed that use of aTIV in those aged 65 years and over would be both more effective than the non adjuvanted vaccines currently in use, and also cost-effective”1
The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has advised that GPs and other healthcare professionals in England should consider using Seqirus’ adjuvanted seasonal influenza vaccine, FLUADⓇ, for the 2018-19 flu season. This because it is both more effective in preventing influenza, and more cost-effective in the 65 years and over age group, when compared to conventional non-adjuvanted vaccines.1
FLUADⓇ is an enhanced vaccine that has been shown in multiple studies to provide better protection against influenza for older people than conventional non-adjuvanted vaccines.2This advantage was recognised by the JCVI at its meeting in June 2017.3
This decision comes after Public Health England declared that conventional non-adjuvanted influenza vaccines provided little or no protection for adults aged 65 years and over in the 2016-17 flu season in the UK.4 The JCVI recognises that there has been “low influenza vaccine effectiveness (VE) seen in the over 65-74 year olds over several A(H3N2) dominated seasons, and non-significant VE for all types of influenza in the over 75s” for some years.1 Similar concerns have been raised regarding conventional non-adjuvanted vaccine efficacy in the 65+ age group in the most recent Australian flu season5 (May-October 2017), which has been particularly severe.6
In part, this lack of vaccine efficacy is due to immunosenescence - as people age, their immune system has a reduced response to conventional non-adjuvanted vaccines. The adjuvant used in FLUADⓇ is proven to boost immune response in patients aged 65 years and over, resulting in better protection against influenza infection when compared to conventional non-adjuvanted flu vaccines.
FLUADⓇ also shows an increased breadth of antibody response when compared with non-adjuvanted influenza vaccines, resulting in potentially increased cross protection against drifted influenza strains in older adults.7,8This could mean better protection for patients in seasons where there is significant antigenic drift, as occurred with A(H3N2) viruses in the 2014-15 season in the UK.
Dr George Kassianos, GP and immunisation expert, said: “I very much welcome this guidance by the JCVI. Year on year, it is becoming more and more evident that conventional non-adjuvanted influenza vaccines do not provide sufficient protection for our older patients, particularly in years dominated by the influenza A(H3N2) virus, which dominated the flu season last year and the year before. Use of this adjuvanted vaccine is expected to result in fewer infections, fewer GP consultations and hospital admissions, and a significantly reduced winter burden on the NHS.
“On the basis of the recent JCVI Meeting Minute outlining the clinical and cost-effectiveness evidence in elderly patients, GP practices are now able to seriously consider the adjuvanted flu vaccine for their patients aged 65 years and over for the 2018-19 flu season,” Dr Kassianos concluded.
Sharon Graham, Senior Lecturer in Nursing at Staffordshire University and a former practice nurse, said: “In primary care we need to ensure that we can offer the most effective prevention against influenza to our patients aged over 65 years. This JCVI guidance will, I hope, help vaccinating health professionals to make the best choice of flu vaccine for next year’s season.”
Seqirus has recently announced a major investment in its Liverpool influenza vaccine manufacturing plant. This investment will allow-end-to-end manufacture of vaccines at the UK site, meeting growing demand and strengthening reliability of supply of FLUADⓇ for UK and global markets.
FLUADⓇ is available to order now for the 2018-19 flu season.
Seqirus is part of CSL Limited (ASX:CSL), headquartered in Melbourne, Australia. The CSL Group of companies employs more than 20,000 people with operations in more than 60 countries.
Seqirus was established on 31st July 2015 following CSL’s acquisition of the Novartis influenza vaccines business and its subsequent integration with bioCSL. As the 2nd-largest influenza vaccine provider in the world, Seqirus is a major contributor to the prevention of influenza globally and a transcontinental partner in pandemic preparedness.
Seqirus operates state-of-the-art production facilities in the US, the UK, and Australia, and manufactures influenza vaccines using both egg-based and cell-based technologies. It has leading R&D capabilities, a broad portfolio of differentiated products, and a commercial presence in more than 20 countries.
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- JCVI draft minutes October 2017 meeting, available at: JCVIDraftMinutesOct2017.pdf
- Mannino et al (2012), Van Buynder et al (2013), referenced in Fluad Summary of Product Characteristics available at:
- JCVI minute June 2017 meeting, available at: https://app.box.com/s/iddfb4ppwkmtjusir2tc/file/229171929321
- Public Health England, Influenza vaccine effectiveness (VE) in adults and children in primary care in the United Kingdom (UK):
provisional end-of- season results 2016-17, available at: www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/779474/Influenza_vaccine_effectiveness_in_primary_care_2017_2018.pdf
- Baldo V, Baldovin T, Floreani A, Fragapane E, Trivello R. Response of influenza vaccines against heterovariant influenza virus strains in adults with chronic diseases. Journal of clinical immunology 2007; 27(5): 542-7.
- Del Giudice G, Hilbert AK, Bugarini R, et al. An MF59-adjuvanted inactivated influenza vaccine containing A/Panama/1999 (H3N2) induced broader serological protection against heterovariant influenza virus
strain A/Fujian/2002 than a subunit and a split influenza vaccine. Vaccine 2006; 24(16): 3063-5.