A recently published study funded by CSL Seqirus has shed new light on the effectiveness of cell-based quadrivalent influenza vaccine (QIVc) in pediatric patients. The study, which evaluated data from 16 studies over four flu seasons, highlights the significant benefits of QIVc compared to older egg-based QIVe vaccines.
While previous research has not specifically focused on the vaccine effectiveness (VE) of QIVc in children, this study included pediatric patients in its analysis. As children are key contributors to influenza transmission, vaccinating them is crucial for both individual and public health protection.
The study, published in October 2023, found that QIVc demonstrated notable advantages over QIVe in terms of laboratory-confirmed outpatient cases. Across three seasons, the relative VE (rVE) estimates ranged from 10.0% to 14.8%. Furthermore, QIVc showed significant benefits in reducing influenza-related medical encounters in most seasons, with lower hospitalization rates observed in pediatric populations.
Notably, the use of QIVc was associated with significantly lower rates of pneumonia-related hospitalizations (point estimates of rVE: 21.5% to 33.0%) and asthma/COPD/bronchial hospitalizations (point estimates of rVE: 13.0% to 13.4%) compared to QIVe recipients.
In the sole study focused solely on pediatric patients, QIVc exhibited higher rVE against both influenza-related medical events and outpatient-only events, with estimates of 12.2% and 14.3%, respectively.
While the VE estimates for QIVc were generally similar to those of QIVe, the rVE varied by strain. However, it is important to note that QIVc showed higher VE against laboratory-confirmed, medically attended, and hospitalization endpoints in younger adults (18-64 years) compared to QIVe, with no significant differences observed in adults older than 65.
Maximizing protection in children through vaccination not only benefits them but also protects vulnerable groups like older adults. A cost-effectiveness analysis further supports the use of QIVc in pediatric populations, as it has been shown to be cost-effective and, in some cases, cost-saving.
As of November 20, 2023, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends annual flu shots for children, including the Flucelvax® Quadrivalent vaccine (QIVc), which is readily available at various health clinics and pharmacies. Many children’s vaccinations in the U.S. are funded by the CDC’s Vaccine for Children program, ensuring broader access to these essential immunizations.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
1. What is QIVc?
QIVc stands for cell-based quadrivalent influenza vaccine. It is a type of influenza vaccine that is grown in cell cultures instead of chicken eggs, which have been traditionally used for vaccine production.
2. How does QIVc differ from QIVe?
QIVe refers to egg-based quadrivalent influenza vaccines, while QIVc is cell-based. The key difference lies in their production methods, with QIVc vaccines grown in cell cultures instead of eggs.
3. What are the benefits of using QIVc in pediatric patients?
The study mentioned in the article highlights several benefits of QIVc in pediatric patients. These include significant reductions in medically attended influenza cases, lower hospitalization rates, and fewer pneumonia-related and asthma/COPD/bronchial hospitalizations compared to QIVe recipients.
4. Is QIVc cost-effective?
Yes, according to a cost-effectiveness analysis, QIVc is considered cost-effective and, in some cases, even cost-saving. The increased costs of the vaccine are offset by population-level improvements in influenza-related health outcomes and reduced healthcare service utilization.
5. Where can children receive the Flucelvax Quadrivalent vaccine (QIVc)?
The Flucelvax Quadrivalent vaccine (QIVc) is available at various health clinics and pharmacies. As of November 20, 2023, the U.S. CDC recommends that children receive an annual flu shot, including QIVc.