UK Approved Fluad Flu Vaccine for Seniors 65+

Fluad influenza vaccine approved for UK residents over 65 years old

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Decades after approval in various countries, the UK National Health Service (NHS) has approved the adjuvanted flu vaccine Fluad.

Under this authorization, UK residents 75 years and older will have priority access to the new flu vaccine.

This decision was made because the current flu shot isn't working for the elderly, reports the NHS.

“We are aware that planning for the 2018-19 influenza vaccination campaign is already underway and many practices and pharmacy providers are in the process of placing provisional orders for next season’s influenza vaccine,” said the NHS in a press release.

“This update summarises recent advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) and the latest update in the Green Book on adjuvanted trivalent flu vaccine that can support your decisions on optimal choice of influenza vaccine for the 2018/19 season.”

Seqirus' Fluad flu vaccine was first approved in Italy in 1997 and is now licensed in 38 countries. The U.S. approved the shot under the FDA's accelerated approval program in late 2015.

The adjuvant in FLUAD has been shown to help the body’s own immune system by recognizing the inactivated virus particles contained in the vaccine, which in turn, leads to a higher immune response.

Pauline MacDonald, an Independent Consultant Nurse specializing in immunization and former member on the JCVI, said: “This adjuvanted vaccine has a well-established safety and tolerability profile in Europe and other parts of the world.”

“Its (FLUAD) approval in the UK offers a new effective option for healthcare professionals when making decisions about which influenza vaccines might be the most appropriate for their specific patient groups, particularly for those adults aged 65 years and older.”

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In the USA, during the 2015-2016 season, influenza A (H3N2) viruses circulated early in the season but influenza A (H1N1)pdm09 viruses predominated overall.

That season was notable because influenza activity peaked in mid-March, 2016; one of the later peaks on record. In the United States influenza activity most commonly peaks between December and February.

The overall burden of influenza was substantial with an estimated 25 million influenza illnesses, 11 million influenza-associated medical visits, 310,000 influenza-related hospitalizations, and 12,000 related deaths, reports the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Most pharmacies in the USA offer FDA approved flu vaccines.

The flu shot cost varies depending on your insurance and which state you live. The CDC Vaccine Price List provides the private sector vaccine prices for general information.

Flu vaccine discounts can be found here.

Vaccines, like any medicine, can have side effects, says the CDC. You are encouraged to report negative side effects of vaccines to the FDA or CDC.