Immunisation Horizon Scanning Bulletin Volume 2 Issue 9

October 27, 2010

Vaccine effectiveness in older individuals: What has been learned from the influenza-vaccine experience.

October 19, 2010

Source: Ageing Research Reviews, 2010 Oct 1. [Epub ahead of print]

Follow this link for abstract

Date of publication: October 2010

Publication Type: Journal Article

In a nutshell: Vaccination policies in most high-income countries attempt to reduce the adverse impact of influenza targeting people aged at least 60 years. However, while it is widely believed that the current immunization strategy saves many lives, influenza infection still remains a severe burden in aged individuals leading to a wide debate on the exact magnitude of the benefit of vaccination in this population. The first aim of the present review is to examine how effective current influenza-vaccine strategies are in aged adults, by analysing which are the most important factors modulating the interpretation of study results in this population. Furthermore, consideration will be given to how immune factors influence the measurement of vaccine efficacy/effectiveness, where advancing age leads to deleterious changes in the adaptive immune system, resulting in less than optimal responses to infectious agents and vaccination. Finally this review concludes with possible strategies to improve the ability of the senescent immune system to respond to vaccination.

Length of publication: Unknown


Parental perspectives on influenza vaccination in children with asthma

October 19, 2010

Source: Pediatric Pulmonology, 2010 Sep 1. [Epub ahead of print]

Follow this link for abstract

Date of publication: September 2010

Publication Type: Journal Article

In a nutshell: BACKGROUND: Influenza is an important cause of epidemic and pandemic disease leading to mortality and morbidity in children. Despite great efforts to increase influenza vaccination, many children with chronic medical conditions do not receive influenza vaccine. Our aim was to identify the demographic factors and asthma-associated characteristics related to vaccination, caregivers’ attitudes and knowledge about influenza disease during the 2007-2008 influenza season. METHODS: Caregivers of children with asthma were surveyed via a self-administered questionnaire to document their knowledge about influenza disease and vaccine and factors influencing vaccination. RESULTS: We enrolled 311 children with asthma. The rate of lifetime influenza vaccination was 69.5%, whereas 51.8% of the patients had been vaccinated in the current season. There were no significant differences in demographic factors and asthma control parameters between the groups who received or did not receive influenza vaccine. Most of the parents whose children were vaccinated believed that influenza vaccination would decrease the prevalence and severity of asthma attacks (P < 0.05). The most important reason cited by parents for deciding on the influenza vaccine for their child was physician recommendation (80.1%). The major reasons for declining the vaccination were unawareness that the influenza vaccine was a requirement for their child (29.3%) and illness at the time of vaccination (20%). CONCLUSION: Physician recommendation is important in the influenza vaccination decision. Demographic factors and asthma control parameters had no influence on immunization uptake but parental beliefs and attitudes could be determinant. Greater effort is needed to increase influenza vaccination rates, in children with asthma

Length of publication: Unknown


Should I or Shouldn’t I: Decision making, knowledge and behavioral effects of quadrivalent HPV vaccination in men who have sex with men

October 19, 2010

Source: Vaccine, 2010 Oct 12. [Epub ahead of print]

Follow this link for abstract

Date of publication: October 2010

Publication Type: Journal Article

In a nutshell: Prior to FDA licensure in men, a surgical practice (SG) offered the quadrivalent HPV vaccine (qHPV) off-label to men who have sex with men (MSM). We administered a written or telephone survey to MSM to elicit drivers and barriers to vaccination, sexual behavior changes post-vaccination, and knowledge. 191 subjects enrolled: 68 refused qHPV, 71 received qHPV <1 year ago, and 52 received qHPV >1 year ago. History of HPV infection (86%, n = 164) and level of HPV and qHPV knowledge were high, with a mean of 10.8 of 13 knowledge questions correct. Ninety-seven percent of participants understood that qHPV does not cure present infection or disease. MSM refused qHPV for reasons including cost and not FDA approved; prevention of future HPV infection was the paramount driver for immunization. Vaccination did not affect sexual behavior.

Length of publication: Unknown


Pregnant women to be offered seasonal flu jab

October 19, 2010

Source: BBC News

Follow this link for full-text

Date of publication: September 2010

Publication Type: News-Item

In a nutshell: All pregnant women will be offered the seasonal flu jab for the first time, under plans unveiled by the government. The one-off move has been sanctioned as the swine flu virus – which is more risky for pregnant women than others – is likely to be still circulating. The vaccine will offer protection against that and two other flu strains.

Length of publication: 1 page news-item


Further dissemination

October 19, 2010

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Immunisation Horizon Scanning Bulletin Volume 2 Issue 8

October 8, 2010