Seasonal Influenza
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2021 ◽  
Vol 26 (37) ◽  
Guido Benedetti ◽  
Tyra Grove Krause ◽  
Uffe Vest Schneider ◽  
Jan Gorm Lisby ◽  
Marianne Voldstedlund ◽  

Background In Denmark, influenza surveillance is ensured by data capturing from existing population-based registers. Since 2017, point-of-care (POC) testing has been implemented outside the regional clinical microbiology departments (CMD). Aim We aimed to assess influenza laboratory results in view of the introduction of POC testing. Methods We retrospectively observed routine surveillance data on national influenza tests before and after the introduction of POC testing as available in the Danish Microbiological Database. Also, we conducted a questionnaire study among Danish CMD about influenza diagnostics. Results Between the seasons 2014/15 and 2018/19, 199,744 influenza tests were performed in Denmark of which 44,161 were positive (22%). After the introduction of POC testing, the overall percentage of positive influenza tests per season did not decrease. The seasonal influenza test incidence was higher in all observed age groups. The number of operating testing platforms placed outside a CMD and with an instrument analytical time ≤ 3 h increased after 2017. Regionally, the number of tests registered as POC in the Danish Microbiological Database and the number of tests performed with an instrument analytical time ≤ 3 h or outside a CMD partially differed. Where comparable (71% of tests), the relative proportion of POC tests out of all tests increased from season 2017/18 to 2018/19. In both seasons, the percentage of positive POC tests resulted slightly lower than for non-POC tests. Conclusion POC testing integrated seamlessly into national influenza surveillance. We propose the use of POC results in the routine surveillance of seasonal influenza.

2021 ◽  
pp. 000992282110464
Ashley V. Hill ◽  
Krissy Moehling Geffel ◽  
Daniel R. Lavage ◽  
Alysia Davis ◽  
Namita Dwarakanath ◽  

2021 ◽  
Vol 2021 ◽  
pp. 1-5
Issa Alawneh ◽  
Hamza Al-Sayeh ◽  
Mahdi Zaid ◽  
Maysa Alawneh ◽  
Hossam Al-Tatari

Background. Seasonal influenza is a common highly infectious disease that can affect the upper and lower airway in children and adults mainly in wintertime which is caused by many different influenza viruses and, in some cases, may cause serious complications such as pneumonia. We conducted this study to assess the knowledge and attitudes among patients and their companions in North Palestine hospitals regarding seasonal influenza and influenza vaccination and factors influencing the uptake of this vaccine so that we can identify gaps in their knowledge and give feedback to health authorities for future quality improvement projects by increasing awareness of its effectiveness and safety. Methods. A cross-sectional 17-item survey included randomly selected samples of 327 North Palestinian patients and their companions at North Palestine hospitals. Result. A total of 327 completed questionnaires were received with a response rate of 92%. Of these, 129 participants (39.4%) believed that influenza is the same as common cold. The majority of participants (85.3%) had heard of the influenza vaccine before. Although nearly half of them (53.6%) believed that the influenza vaccine is safe, only 112 (34.7%) of the participants considered vaccination an effective means in preventing serious influenza-related complications and only 89 (27.2%) participants were previously vaccinated. The main reasons for not being vaccinated included that vaccination is not necessary because flu is not a serious disease (67%), concerns about vaccine efficacy and its side effects (25.6%), fear of needles and injection (25.2%), and 17.8% of the participants believed that this vaccine is expensive. Conclusion. The uptake and knowledge of the influenza vaccine among Palestinians are low. Vaccinated participants in our survey showed a higher level of knowledge compared to nonvaccinated participants. Half of the participants believed in the safety of the vaccine and one-third of them believed in its efficacy in preventing flu illness and its complications. Extensive and sustained efforts are needed by public health programs to promote the flu vaccine among the public by increasing awareness of its effectiveness and safety.

Nataša Dernovšček Hafner ◽  
Tanja Udrih Lazar

Seasonal influenza vaccination is one of the keys to preventing the spread of this disease. The seasonal influenza vaccination rate is very low for the general Slovenian population (the average rate from the 2015/16 season to the 2019/20 season is 4.3%) and also for healthcare employees (between 2009 and 2019, the average vaccination rate among healthcare workers in Slovenia was 12.9%), and it does not ensure sufficient community protection from the disease. At the beginning of the 2016/17 season, the University Medical Centre Ljubljana (UMCL) launched its first-ever occupational health promotion project with the slogan “I don’t pass on the flu! I get vaccinated to protect myself and others.” The goal of the project was to reach as many employees as possible and increase the general vaccination rate because those working in healthcare have a significantly greater risk of catching influenza than the rest of the working population. By being vaccinated, they protect not only themselves and their families against the disease, but also their patients. The project encouraged all employees to receive the free vaccination, especially those groups that had had lower vaccination rates over the past years. The support of the institution’s executive staff and the heads of individual divisions was key to securing the required funds and suitable conditions for carrying out the project. Different communication tools were used in the project. The promotion strategy increased vaccination coverage at the UMCL from under 10.0% to 13.9% in 2016, 20.9% in 2017, 21.7% in 2018, and 30.1% in 2019. Workplace health promotion can make a difference. The examples of good practice have made a substantial difference and will be taken into account in planning and organizing vaccination activities during future influenza seasons. This practical model can be used in other hospital settings as well.

Cureus ◽  
2021 ◽  
Nikolaos Spantideas ◽  
Anastasia M Bougea ◽  
Eirini G Drosou ◽  
Neha Khanderia ◽  
Summina Rai

2021 ◽  
Vijaykrishna Dhanasekaran ◽  
Sheena Sullivan ◽  
Kimberly Edwards ◽  
Ruopeng Xie ◽  
Arseniy Khvorov ◽  

Abstract Annual epidemics of seasonal influenza cause hundreds of thousands of deaths, high levels of morbidity, and substantial economic loss. Yet, global influenza circulation has been heavily suppressed by public health measures and travel restrictions since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Notably, the influenza B/Yamagata lineage has not been conclusively detected since April 2020, and A(H3N2), A(H1N1), and B/Victoria viruses circulate with considerably less genetic diversity. Travel restrictions have largely confined regional outbreaks of A(H3N2) to South and Southeast Asia, B/Victoria epidemics in China, and A(H1N1) in West Africa. Seasonal influenza transmission lineages continue to perish globally, except in select hotspots, which will likely seed future epidemics. Waning population immunity and sporadic case detection will further challenge influenza vaccine strain selection and epidemic control. We offer perspective on the potential short- and long-term evolutionary dynamics of seasonal influenza and discuss potential consequences and mitigation strategies as global travel gradually returns to pre-pandemic levels.

2021 ◽  
Vol 47 (09) ◽  
pp. 372-380
Angela Sinilaite ◽  
Kelsey Young ◽  
Robyn Harrison

Background: Several influenza vaccines are authorized in Canada and the evidence on influenza immunization is continually evolving. The National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) provides recommendations regarding the use of seasonal influenza vaccines annually to the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC). Objective: To summarize NACI recommendations regarding the use of seasonal influenza vaccines for 2021–2022 and to highlight new recommendations. Methods: Annual influenza vaccine recommendations are developed by NACI's Influenza Working Group for consideration and approval by NACI. The development of the recommendations is based on the NACI evidence-based process. Results: The following new recommendations were made: 1) Influvac® Tetra may be considered as an option among the standard dose quadrivalent inactivated influenza vaccines (IIV4-SD) offered to adults and children three years of age and older; 2) Fluzone High Dose Quadrivalent (IIV4-HD) may be considered an option for individuals 65 years of age and older who are currently recommended to receive Fluzone® High Dose (trivalent); and 3) Flucelvax® Quad may be considered amongst the quadrivalent influenza vaccines offered to adults and children nine years of age and older for annual influenza immunization. Guidance for use of influenza immunizations during the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic is also highlighted. Conclusion: NACI continues to recommend that an age-appropriate influenza vaccine should be offered annually to anyone six months of age and older who does not have contraindications to the vaccine. Vaccination should be offered as a priority to people at high risk of influenza-related complications or hospitalization, people capable of transmitting influenza to those at high risk of complications, and others as indicated.

2021 ◽  
Théophile Baïssas ◽  
Florence Boisnard ◽  
Inmaculada Cuesta Esteve ◽  
Marta García Sánchez ◽  
Christine E. Jones ◽  

Abstract Background: Pertussis and seasonal influenza are responsible for significant maternal, neonatal, and infant morbidity and mortality, but vaccine coverage rates (VCR) for both pertussis (administered as a tetanus, diphtheria, acellular pertussis [Tdap] vaccination) and seasonal influenza in pregnancy remain generally low. Only a small number of countries, including Spain, the United Kingdom (UK), and the United States of America (USA), have high Tdap and seasonal influenza VCRs in pregnancy. The purpose of this study was to identify the key factors that contributed to the high VCRs observed in these countries.Methods: The experience from both Tdap and seasonal influenza vaccination programmes during pregnancy were documented in Spain, the UK, and the USA using a three-step approach. A literature review yielded 157 publications, and a further 117 documents were selected through desk research. A published five-pillar VCR framework for influenza was amended to evaluate the specific contributing factors leading to high Tdap and seasonal influenza VCRs among pregnant women.Results: The analysis identified components that contributed to higher VCR in pregnant women across three different healthcare systems in Spain, UK, and USA. The combination of several key interventions in each country led to a rapid increase in VCR that reached near-optimal levels (i.e. 75% for seasonal influenza) within a few years. As well as inclusion in national immunisation programme and vaccine reimbursement, key components that were identified included the mobilisation of health authorities, prenatal care Healthcare Professionals (HCP) and scientific societies, the inclusion of vaccination in antenatal medical guidance, the provision of educational material to HCPs, and a strong disease awareness driven by recent pertussis outbreaks in each country.Conclusions: Although there is no simple, universal solution to improving sub-optimal VCRs, the list of components identified in this study from three countries with high-performing Tdap and seasonal influenza vaccination programmes provides a basis for public health and medical stakeholders in other countries to define strategies to successfully implement national vaccination programmes for pregnant women.

PLoS ONE ◽  
2021 ◽  
Vol 16 (9) ◽  
pp. e0244346
Svenn-Erik Mamelund ◽  
Clare Shelley-Egan ◽  
Ole Rogeberg

Background The objective of this study is to document whether and to what extent there is an association between socioeconomic status (SES) and disease outcomes in the last five influenza pandemics. Methods/principle findings The review included studies published in English, Danish, Norwegian and Swedish. Records were identified through systematic literature searches in six databases. We summarized results narratively and through meta-analytic strategies. Only studies for the 1918 and 2009 pandemics were identified. Of 14 studies on the 2009 pandemic including data on both medical and social risk factors, after controlling for medical risk factors 8 demonstrated independent impact of SES. In the random effect analysis of 46 estimates from 35 studies we found a pooled mean odds ratio of 1.4 (95% CI: 1.2–1.7, p < 0.001), comparing the lowest to the highest SES, but with substantial effect heterogeneity across studies,–reflecting differences in outcome measures and definitions of case and control samples. Analyses by pandemic period (1918 or 2009) and by level of SES measure (individual or ecological) indicated no differences along these dimensions. Studies using healthy controls tended to document that low SES was associated with worse influenza outcome, and studies using infected controls find low SES associated with more severe outcomes. A few studies compared severe outcomes (ICU or death) to hospital admissions but these did not find significant SES associations in any direction. Studies with more unusual comparisons (e.g., pandemic vs seasonal influenza, seasonal influenza vs other patient groups) reported no or negative non-significant associations. Conclusions/significance We found that SES was significantly associated with pandemic influenza outcomes with people of lower SES having the highest disease burden in both 1918 and 2009. To prepare for future pandemics, we must consider social vulnerability. The protocol for this study has been registered in PROSPERO (ref. no 87922) and has been published Mamelund et al. (2019).

2021 ◽  
Vol 20 (1) ◽  
Nour Abed Elhadi Shahbari ◽  
Anat Gesser-Edelsburg ◽  
Nadav Davidovitch ◽  
Shuli Brammli-Greenberg ◽  
Rami Grifat ◽  

Abstract Background Parents in the Arab population of Israel are known to be “pro-vaccination” and vaccinate their children at higher rates than the Jewish population, specifically against human papilloma virus (HPV) and seasonal influenza. Objectives This study seeks to identify and compare variables associated with mothers’ uptake of two vaccinations, influenza and HPV, among different subgroups in Arab and Jewish society in Israel. Methods A cross-sectional study of the entire spectrum of the Israeli population was conducted using a stratified sample of Jewish mothers (n = 159) and Arab mothers (n = 534) from different subgroups: Muslim, Christian, Druse and Northern Bedouins. From March 30, 2019 through October 20, 2019, questionnaires were distributed manually to eighth grade pupils (13–14 years old) who had younger siblings in second (7–8 years old) or third (8–9 years old) grades. Results Arab mothers exhibited a higher rate of uptake for both vaccinations (p < .0001, HPV – 90%; influenza – 62%) than Jewish mothers (p = 0.0014, HPV – 46%; influenza – 34%). Furthermore, results showed that HPV vaccination uptake is significantly higher than seasonal influenza vaccination uptake in both populations. Examination of the different ethnic subgroups revealed differences in vaccination uptake. For both vaccinations, the Northern Bedouins exhibited the highest uptake rate of all the Arab subgroups (74%), followed by the Druse (74%) and Muslim groups (60%). The Christian Arab group exhibited the lowest uptake rate (46%). Moreover, the uptake rate among secular Jewish mothers was lower than in any of the Arab groups (38%), though higher than among religious/traditional Jewish mothers, who exhibited the lowest uptake rate (26%). A comparison of the variables associated with mothers’ vaccination uptake revealed differences between the ethnic subgroups. Moreover, the findings of the multiple logistic regression revealed the following to be the most significant factors in Arab mothers’ intake of both vaccinations: school-located vaccination and mothers’ perceived risk and perceived trust in the system and in the family physician. These variables are manifested differently in the different ethnic groups. Conclusions This research shows that all Arabs cannot be lumped together as one monolithic group in that they exhibit major differences according to religion, education and access to information. Ranking of variables associated with uptake of the two vaccines can provide decision-makers an empirical basis for tailoring appropriate and specific interventions to each subgroup to achieve the highest vaccine uptake rate possible. Media campaigns targeting the Arab population should be segmented to appeal to the various sub-groups according to their viewpoints, needs and health literacy.

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