Immunisation Horizon Scanning Bulletin Volume 2 Issue 3

April 8, 2010

Cervical cancer: problem solved? Vaccinating girls against human papillomavirus

April 6, 2010

Source: BJOG, 2010 Jan; 117 (2): 137-42

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Year of publication: January 2010

Publication Type: Commentary

In a nutshell: September 2008 marked the beginning of a nationwide immunisation programme designed to protect British women against the devastating impact of cervical cancer. Cervarix™, a GlaxoSmithKline vaccine (Brentford, London, UK), offers protection against human papillomavirus (HPV) types 16 and 18, which together are responsible for approximately 70% of cervical cancers. In future, girls aged 12–13 years will be immunised each year as part of the routine National Health Service immunisation programme. In addition, all girls aged 13–18 years are being offered the vaccine in a one-off ‘catch-up’ programme. This will ensure that by 2011 the 12–18-years cohort will all have been invited for free HPV vaccination.

Length of publication: 6 page article

Influenza vaccines provide diminished protection but are cost-saving in older adults

April 6, 2010

Source: Journal of Internal Medicine, 2010 Feb; 267 (2): 220-227

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Year of publication: February 2010

Publication Type: Journal Article

In a nutshell: Influenza is associated with substantial morbidity and mortality in adults aged over 65 years. Although vaccination remains the most effective method of preventing influenza and its sequellae, current vaccination strategies provide less protection to older adults than to younger persons. Influenza vaccination in community-dwelling older adults is cost-effective, though there is room for improvement. Newer vaccine strategies considered for use in older adults include alternate routes of administration (intradermal or intranasal), addition of adjuvant, and novel methods of antigen presentation. Measuring cell-mediated immune response to new vaccines in addition to antibody response may correlate better with vaccine efficacy in this population. Whilst pandemic influenza A/H1N1 2009 (pH1N1) has largely spared older adults, the impact of pH1N1 vaccination has yet to be determined.

Length of publication: 7 page article

Swine ‘Flu vaccine available for the protection of travellers

April 6, 2010

Source: Department of Health

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Year of publication: March 2010

Publication Type: Press Release

In a nutshell: People travelling to the Southern Hemisphere, including the World Cup in South Africa, should be vaccinated against swine ‘flu to prevent them from catching the virus, and from bringing it back. The Southern Hemisphere ‘flu season is expected to start shortly and vaccination will reduce the risk to travellers.

Length of publication: 1 page press release