Review of the scientific literature on drivers and barriers of seasonal influenza vaccination coverage in the EU/EEA
The report aims to provide a critical review of evidence on the barriers and drivers of seasonal influenza vaccination coverage in the EU/EEA. The report focuses on high-risk groups where high coverage of seasonal flu vaccination is most important. The 2009 Council of the European Union Recommendation on seasonal influenza vaccination encourages countries to implement measures that would increase seasonal influenza vaccination uptake to at least 75% for defined older age groups, and, if possible, for other risk groups. In support of this, the ECDC report summarises the evidence on what are the barriers and what are the drivers for seasonal influenza vaccination by each risk group
Expert opinion on priority risk groups for influenza vaccination
This paper identifies and describes population groups at increased risk for severe outcomes of influenza (“risk groups”) and advocates vaccination for two major groups, namely a) persons in the older age group, usually 65 years and older; and b) persons with chronic medical conditions.
Influenza vaccine effectiveness
Vaccine effectiveness is an estimate of the likelihood that a vaccine prevents influenza infection when used in everyday practice. To establish how well influenza vaccines work each season, influenza vaccine effectiveness is measured in observational studies. Vaccine effectiveness is an estimate of the likelihood that a vaccine prevents influenza infection when used in everyday practice.
Factsheet about seasonal influenza
Influenza is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that infect the nose, throat, and sometimes the lungs. It can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death. The best way to prevent flu is by getting a flu vaccine each year.
Risk groups for severe influenza
Some people are at high risk of serious complications as a result of influenza, some of which can be life-threatening and result in death. The risk groups includes people who are more likely than others to develop severe disease if they should be infected, such as the elderly, pregnant women, young children and people with underlying health conditions.
Immunity following influenza disease and administration of influenza vaccines
For infants the first encounter with influenza viruses commonly occurs in their first or second winter season. Subsequently, each individual acquires a number of influenza infections throughout life. It is expected that up to ~15% of a European population in a temperate climate is infected with influenza in any winter season with higher percentages in children and lower in older people.
Types of seasonal influenza vaccine
Injected trivalent inactivated influenza vaccines are most commonly used throughout the world. Influenza antigen preparation varies between manufacturers. The inactivated influenza vaccines available in the EU/EEA may contain either split virion influenza virus products or subunit influenza products.