ACIP plans flu review for older adults



The flu season is underway in the United States, and an Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices’ work group is set to assess vaccines for older adults, according to data presented at a meeting of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s ACIP.

An older man receives a flu shot. copyright Wavebreakmedia/Thinkstock

Lynette Brammer of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD) presented a surveillance update of the flu season in the United States so far. Overall, the influenza A(H3N2) viruses are predominant, although dominance varies in different regions of the country, and it is too soon to predict what strain will dominate later in the season.

“While two of the four vaccine components were updated for the Southern Hemisphere, the components selected for the 2019-2020 Northern Hemisphere vaccine, at this time, look appropriate for the season,” she said.

In other flu news, Lisa Groskopf, MD, of the NCIRD discussed the influenza work group’s plans for a meta-analysis to assess the relative benefit of different vaccines for older adults, in light of the growing variety of products available.

Currently, no preferential recommendations have been made for a specific vaccine for a particular age group. “There’s a dearth of data comparing these vaccines to one another,” said Dr. Groskopf. She added that, because vaccine effectiveness varies by season, the generalizability of effectiveness data is another challenge.

The work group’s systematic review and meta-analysis is designed to compare the high-dose inactivated influenza vaccine (HD-IIV), the adjuvanted inactivated influenza vaccine (aIIV), and the recombinant influenza vaccine (RIV). The study will include adults aged 65 years and older who receive trivalent or quadrivalent HD-IIV, aIIV, or RIV, compared with those who receive another influenza vaccine, a noninfluenza control vaccine, placebo, or no vaccine. The outcomes will include data on safety and effectiveness of the vaccines, Dr. Groskopf said.

In addition to safety and effectiveness, manufacturers such as Sanofi Pasteur continue to collect data on the success of available vaccines and develop new ones. Lee-Jah Chang, MD, of Sanofi Pasteur presented results of a noninferiority study of the company’s investigational high-dose quadrivalent influenza vaccine (QIV-HD; including two prevailing B viruses) versus the high-dose trivalent influenza vaccine (TID-HD). The study was conducted at 35 sites in the United States and included 2,670 adults aged 65 years and older.

Overall, the reactogenicity profile for patients given QIV-HD was similar to that of TID-HD, and approximately 5% of patients in the QIV group reported an immediate adverse event, Dr. Chang said. However, no related deaths or related adverse events of special interest occurred in any of the study groups.

Sanofi plans to pursue licensure of the QIV-HD vaccine, with a Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research action date of Nov. 4, 2019, said Dr. Chang. If the vaccine is licensed, it should be available for purchase by health care providers in the first quarter of 2020.

The ACIP members had no financial conflicts to disclose.

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