Seasonal influenza vaccines
Seasonal influenza is a vaccine-preventable disease and annual influenza vaccination is the most effective way to prevent influenza. ECDC continues to emphasise that all Europeans who are recommended to have the influenza vaccine should get vaccinated. Vaccination is especially important for people at higher risk of serious influenza complications: Individuals with specific chronic medical conditions, pregnant women, and children aged 6-59 months, the elderly and healthcare workers.
From influenza season 2023/24 onwards, all influenza data will be covered in the European Respiratory Virus Surveillance Summary (ERVISS), developed jointly by the ECDC and the WHO Regional Office for Europe. The reports are published weekly on the website erviss.org and provide key data and analysis on a variety of issues including influenza intensity, circulating virus types/subtypes, and virus characteristics (vaccine effectiveness, pathogenicity, and susceptibility to antiviral treatments).
Seasonal influenza vaccination strategies
There are several possible immunisation strategies for seasonal influenza.
Risk groups for severe influenza
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.
Types of seasonal influenza vaccine
Injected trivalent inactivated influenza vaccines are most commonly used throughout the world. Influenza antigen preparation varies between manufacturers.
Immunity following influenza disease and administration of influenza vaccines
Information on natural immunity and immunity after vaccination, and the evaluation of immune response after vaccination in the EU.
Timing of influenza vaccination
It takes 10 to 14 days following vaccination, before an immune response and protection develops. Therefore, most countries start immunisation in the early autumn.
EU resources on influenza vaccination