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The Compelling Need for Game-Changing Influenza Vaccines: An Analysis of the Influenza Vaccine Enterprise and Recommendations for the Future

December 11, 2012 Comments off

The Compelling Need for Game-Changing Influenza Vaccines: An Analysis of the Influenza Vaccine Enterprise and Recommendations for the Future (PDF)

Source: Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy, University of Minnesota

Influenza vaccine was first recommended for use in US military personnel in 1945. The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) thereafter made a number of incremental changes to the annual influenza vaccine recommendations, leading to recommended coverage for an ever-increasing proportion of the US population. In 2010 the ACIP recommended the first national universal seasonal influenza vaccination for all persons 6 months old and older. With the vast majority of Americans now recommended for vaccination, the public health benefits of the current influenza vaccination strategy have largely been maximized.

Current hemagglutinin (HA)-head antigen influenza vaccines, regardless of the platform in which they are manufactured, are inadequate to provide robust clinical protection across multiple strains or long-term protection. Evidence for consistent high-level protection is elusive for the present generation of vaccines, especially in individuals at risk of medical complications or those 65 years old or older. The ongoing public health burden caused by seasonal influenza and the potential global effect of a severe pandemic create an urgent need for a new generation of highly effective and cross-protective vaccines that can be manufactured rapidly. A universal vaccine should be the goal, with a novel-antigen game-changing vaccine the minimum requirement.

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