An article in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) discussed the recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices for the influenza season.
The CDC said the 2017–2018 U.S. trivalent influenza vaccines will contain an A/Michigan/45/2015 (H1N1) pdm09–like virus, an A/Hong Kong/4801/2014 (H3N2)–like virus, and a B/Brisbane/60/2008–like virus (Victoria lineage). Quadrivalent vaccines will include an additional vaccine virus strain: a B/Phuket/3073/2013–like virus (Yamagata lineage).
“This represents a change in the influenza A(H1N1) pdm09 virus component from the previous season,” noted the report.
The CDC review also discussed recent regulatory actions, including two new licensures and one labeling change. Among those:
• Afluria Quadrivalent (IIV4; Seqirus, Parkville, Victoria, Australia) was licensed by the FDA in August last year for adults aged 18 and older.
• Flublok Quadrivalent (RIV4; Protein Sciences, Meriden, Connecticut) was licensed by the FDA in October 2016, for adults aged 18 and older.
• The age indication for FluLaval Quadrivalent (IIV4; ID Biomedical Corporation of Quebec, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada) was extended last November from children aged 3 years and older to infants older than 6 months.
• Children aged 6 through 35 months may receive FluLaval Quadrivalent at the same 0.5 mL per dose (containing 15 mcg of hemagglutinin [HA] per vaccine virus) as is used for older children and adults. This licensure creates an additional option for vaccination of children aged 6 through 35 months in addition to the previously available 0.25 mL per dose presentation (containing 7.5 mcg of HA per vaccine virus) of Fluzone Quadrivalent (IIV4; Sanofi Pasteur, Swiftwater, Pennsylvania).
• Afluria (IIV3; Seqirus, Parkville, Victoria, Australia) is now recommended for persons aged 5 years and older, in line with FDA-approved labeling.
The CDC also emphasizes that pregnant women can receive any licensed, recommended, age-appropriate influenza vaccine.
The agency reiterated its recommendations about the use of live attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV4). The nasal spray was found to have low effectiveness against influenza A(H1N1) pdm09 in the United States, leading to the CDC’s position to suspend use last year.
“Influenza viruses typically circulate widely in the United States annually, from the late fall through the early spring,” the MMWR article notes. “Although most persons with influenza will recover without sequelae, influenza can cause serious illness and death, particularly among older adults, very young children, pregnant women, and those with certain chronic medical conditions.”
Since 2010, the CDC and its Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices have advised routine annual influenza vaccination for all persons aged 6 months and older who do not have contraindications. For the 2017–2018 season, quadrivalent and trivalent influenza vaccines will be available, as will inactivated influenza vaccines (IIVs), which will be available in trivalent (IIV3) and quadrivalent (IIV4) formulations. Recombinant influenza vaccine (RIV) will be available in trivalent (RIV3) and quadrivalent (RIV4) formulations also.
The CDC makes no recommendation for one influenza vaccine product over another.
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