Just after National Immunization Awareness Month (NIAM; see “From the Media” article) and back to school, comes influenza immunization season. Indeed, some companies are already shipping influenza vaccine for the 2015-16 season. Since each influenza season is a bit different, you might be wondering what you need to know this year.
Influenza vaccines for the 2015-2016 season will include the following strains:
- A/California/7/2009 (H1N1)pdm09-like virus
- A/Switzerland/9715293/2013 (H3N2)-like virus
- B/Phuket/3073/2013-like (B/Yamagata lineage) virus
- Quadrivalent versions will also include B/Brisbane/60/2008-like (B/Victoria lineage) virus
Influenza vaccine products will include a variety of options:
- Trivalent and quadrivalent intramuscular (IM) vaccines
- High-dose trivalent IM
- Jet injector trivalent vaccine for 18-64 year olds (AFLURIA®)
- Nasal spray quadrivalent vaccine for 2-49 year olds (FLUMIST®)
- Intradermal quadrivalent vaccine for 18-64 year olds (Fluzone®)
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently updated the Vaccine Information Statements (VIS) related to influenza:
The CDC also has an extensive Q&A page related to the 2015-2016 season.
The VEC is not updating the “Influenza: What You Should Know” Q&A so you can continue using the Volume 11, Fall 2014 versions:
In retrospect, 2014-2015
Reviews of data from last year’s influenza season determined the following:
- Disease peaked in December, but cases occurred as early as September and as late as May.
- Influenza A was the predominant strain, but it was not well-matched in the vaccine due to antigenic drift that occurred before the vaccine was released.
- Influenza B strains increased in prevalence later in the season.
- Circulating strains of influenza A were more resistant to adamantanes (amantadine and rimantadine).
- The season was moderately severe with 61 percent of hospitalizations occurring in adults 65 years of age and older.
- One hundred forty-one children died of laboratory-confirmed influenza.
To review the entire report, access the June 5, 2015 issue of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.