A recently published study funded by CSL Seqirus in the journal Vaccines has provided compelling real-world data on the significant value of cell-based quadrivalent seasonal influenza vaccines (QIVc) for children compared to older egg-based QIV (QIVe) vaccines. This comprehensive study analyzed data from 16 studies across four flu seasons, emphasizing the remarkable benefits of QIVc in pediatric populations.
The primary focus of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness (VE) of QIVc in pediatric patients, although various studies also included overall assessments of QIVc with subgroup analyses based on age groups. The findings of this study are particularly noteworthy since children are the main contributors to influenza transmission. Vaccinating pediatric patients not only provides individual protection but also plays a vital role in safeguarding public health.
The results of this study, conducted from 2020 to 2023, demonstrated significant advantages of QIVc over QIVe in both pediatric and adult populations. In a three-season study in the United States, QIVc showed a relative VE (rVE) estimation of 10.0–14.8% for laboratory-confirmed outpatient cases. Furthermore, QIVc exhibited considerable benefits in reducing influenza-related medical encounters and hospitalization rates in pediatric populations.
Not only did QIVc lower the rates of pneumonia-related hospitalizations (with rVE estimates of 21.5–33.0% across studies), but it also demonstrated a reduced risk of asthma/COPD/bronchial hospitalizations (with point estimates of rVE at 13.0–13.4%) compared to recipients of QIVe.
Another notable finding was the higher effectiveness of QIVc in pediatric patients when compared exclusively to QIVe. The study highlighted that QIVc provided higher rVE against both influenza-related medical events and outpatient-only events, with estimates of 12.2% and 14.3%, respectively.
The study also noted that strain variability affected the estimates of rVE, with considerable overlap in VE estimates between QIVc and QIVe. However, data from adult populations suggested a higher effectiveness of QIVc against laboratory-confirmed, medically attended, and hospitalization endpoints in younger adults (18–64 years) when compared to QIVe. No substantial differences in effectiveness were observed between the two vaccines in adults older than 65.
In addition to the evident benefits for children, it is worth mentioning that vaccinating children against influenza has a positive impact on protecting other vulnerable groups, such as older adults. This reinforces the importance of maximizing childhood vaccination to achieve improved influenza-related health outcomes and reduce healthcare service utilization at a population level.
Moreover, a cost-effectiveness analysis conducted alongside the clinical findings revealed that QIVc usage in pediatric populations is not only cost-effective but also cost-saving at a societal level. Although QIVc may incur increased costs, these are offset by population-level improvements in influenza-related health outcomes and reductions in healthcare service utilization.
In line with these promising results, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the United States recommends annual flu shots for children, including the Flucelvax® Quadrivalent (QIVc) vaccine. Child vaccinations in the U.S. are often funded through the CDC’s Vaccine for Children program, ensuring widespread access to influenza vaccines for this vulnerable population.
1. What is the QIVc vaccine?
QIVc refers to the cell-based quadrivalent seasonal influenza vaccine. It is designed to offer protection against four different strains of the influenza virus.
2. Why is vaccinating children against influenza important?
Children are primary contributors to the spread of influenza. Vaccinating them helps reduce transmission rates and protects other vulnerable groups, such as older adults.
3. Are there any differences in effectiveness between QIVc and QIVe?
QIVc has demonstrated higher effectiveness compared to QIVe in various age groups. However, strain variability can impact effectiveness estimates, and both vaccines generally show similar effectiveness against influenza.
Source: [Vaccines (URL)](https://precisionvaccinations.com)