Influenza, commonly called “flu”, is an infection of the respiratory tract that affects the nose, throat and the lungs characterised by high fever, severe headache, sore throat, general aches and pains, chills, weakness and fatigue. Influenza is highly contagious and it is spread easily from person to person, primarily when an infected person coughs or sneezes. These influenza epidemics occur every year, usually during the winter months, although the extent and severity vary widely.
According to WHO, the most effective way to prevent seasonal influenza or its severe outcomes is vaccination. Seasonal influenza vaccines provide protection against three influenza viruses that are most likely to circulate during the upcoming season (vaccine manufacturers are currently working to develop a quadrivalent influenza vaccine incorporating four influenza strains). The composition of the vaccine is reviewed on a yearly basis following international surveillance and scientists’ estimations on which types and strains of viruses will circulate in a given year. Vaccine Europe members aim to raise awareness on the importance of seasonal influenza vaccination while understanding the barriers underpinning their utilisation.
In view of the Council of the European Union recommendation on seasonal influenza vaccination in the EU Vaccines Europe conducted a Health Economic Study available here, to develop supporting evidence encouraging Member States to reach the EU Health Council vaccination targets. Read more…
Vaccines Europe developed a video on the Annual Health and Economic Benefits of Influenza Vaccination. Access it here.