ATLANTA – according to an analysis of reports to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) during July 2016 through March 2018.
VAERS received 630 reports related to the vaccine () during the study period, of which 521 involved adults aged 65 years and older.
“Eighteen (3%) were serious reports, including two death reports (0.4%), all in adults aged [at least] 65 years,” Penina Haber and her colleagues at the Immunization Safety Office at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported in a poster at the Internationalon Emerging Infectious Diseases.
The deaths included a 75-year-old man who died from Sjögren’s syndrome and a 65-year-old man who died from a myocardial infarction. The other serious events included five neurologic disorders (two cases of Guillain-Barré syndrome and one each of Bell’s palsy, Bickerstaff encephalitis, and lower-extremity weakness), five musculoskeletal and connective tissue disorders (three with shoulder pain and two with arm pain), three general disorders and administration site conditions (two cases of fever/chills and one case of cellulitis/bursitis), and one case each of a gastrointestinal disorder (acute diarrhea/gastroenteritis), an injury (a fall), and a skin/subcutaneous tissue disorder (keratosis pilaris rubra), according to the investigators.
There were no reports of anaphylaxis.
For the sake of comparison, the investigators also looked at reports associated with IIV3-HD and IIV3/IIV4 vaccines in adults aged 65 years and older during the same time period; they found that patient characteristics and reported events were similar for all the vaccines. For example, the percentages of reports involving patients aged 65 years and older were 65% or 66% for each, and those involving patients aged 75-84 years were 27%-29%. Further, 0.2%-0.6% of reports for each vaccine involved death.
The most frequently reported events for aIIV3, IIV3-HD, and IIV3/IIV4, respectively, were extremity pain (21%, 17%, and 15%, respectively), injection site erythema (18%, 19%, and 15%), and injection site pain (15%, 16%, and 16%), they said.
The aIIV3 vaccine – the first seasonal inactivated trivalent influenza vaccine produced from three influenza virus strains (two subtype A strains and one type B strain) – was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 2015 for adults aged 65 years and older. It was the first influenza vaccine containing the adjuvant MF59 – a purified oil-in-water emulsion of squalene oil added to boost immune response in that population. Its safety was assessed in 15 randomized, controlled clinical studies, and several trials in older adults supported its efficacy and safety over nonadjuvanted influenza vaccines, the investigators reported. They noted that the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP)the vaccine as an option for routine use in adults aged 65 years and older during the 2016-2017 flu seasons.
For the 2018-2019 flu season, ACIPthat “For persons aged ≥65 years, any age-appropriate IIV formulation (standard-dose or high-dose, trivalent or quadrivalent, unadjuvanted or adjuvanted) or RIV4 are acceptable options.”
The findings of the analysis of the 2017-2018 flu season data are consistent with prelicensure studies, Ms. Haber and her colleagues concluded, noting that data mining did not detect disproportional reporting of any unexpected adverse event.
“[There were] no safety concerns following aIIV3 when compared to the nonadjuvanted influenza vaccines (IIV3-HD or IIV3/IIV4),” they wrote, adding that the “CDC and FDA will continue to monitor and ensure the safety of aIIV3.”
Ms. Haber reported having no disclosures
SOURCE: Haber P et al. ICEID 2018, .