New research published in the journal Vaccines sheds light on the significant advantages of cell-based quadrivalent seasonal influenza vaccine (QIVc) for children compared to older egg-based vaccines. The study, supported by CSL Seqirus, evaluated data from 16 studies conducted over four flu seasons, emphasizing the measured value of QIVc.
While previous studies mainly focused on the effect of QIVc on the general population, this research specifically examined the impact on pediatric patients. Children play a vital role in influenza transmission, making their vaccination crucial both for their individual protection and public health.
One three-season study conducted in the United States revealed substantial benefits of using QIVc over egg-based vaccines. The study evaluated laboratory-confirmed outpatient cases and estimated the relative vaccine effectiveness (rVE) to be between 10.0% and 14.8% across seasons. QIVc also proved effective in reducing influenza-related medical encounters in most seasons and lowering hospitalization rates among pediatric populations.
Furthermore, QIVc was associated with significantly lower rates of pneumonia-related hospitalizations and asthma/COPD/bronchial hospitalizations when compared to recipients of egg-based vaccines.
The research also found that QIVc demonstrated higher rVE against both influenza-related medical events and outpatient-only events in the pediatric population. Additionally, QIVc showed higher vaccine effectiveness against laboratory-confirmed, medically attended, and hospitalization endpoints in younger adults (18-64 years) compared to egg-based vaccines. However, no significant differences were observed between the two vaccines in adults older than 65.
Overall, the study’s findings highlight the incremental benefits of QIVc in preventing medically attended influenza and hospitalizations, particularly among children. Vaccinating children not only protects them but also has a positive impact on other vulnerable groups, such as older adults.
Cost-effectiveness analyses have further indicated that using QIVc in pediatric populations is not only cost-effective but also cost-saving at a societal level. The potential increase in vaccination costs is offset by improvements in influenza-related health outcomes and reductions in healthcare service utilization.
In accordance with these findings, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend that children receive an annual flu shot, such as the Flucelvax® Quadrivalent (QIVc) vaccine. The availability of QIVc at various health clinics and pharmacies ensures easy access for children across the United States.
1. What is QIVc?
QIVc stands for cell-based quadrivalent seasonal influenza vaccine. It is a vaccine that protects against four strains of the seasonal flu virus.
2. How is QIVc different from the older egg-based QIVe vaccines?
QIVc is produced using cell-based technology, while QIVe vaccines are made using egg-based technology. QIVc has shown to have higher vaccine effectiveness and offers greater benefits, especially for children.
3. Why is vaccinating children important for public health?
Children are a significant contributor to influenza transmission. By vaccinating children, we not only protect them but also reduce the spread of the virus in the community, effectively safeguarding vulnerable populations such as older adults.
4. Are there any cost considerations when it comes to using QIVc in pediatric populations?
Cost-effectiveness analyses have shown that using QIVc in pediatric populations is cost-effective and can even lead to cost savings at a societal level. The potential increase in vaccination costs is outweighed by the positive health outcomes and reduced healthcare service utilization.
5. Where can children receive the QIVc vaccine?
The QIVc vaccine, such as Flucelvax® Quadrivalent, is available at various health clinics and pharmacies throughout the United States. Many children’s vaccinations in the U.S. are funded by the CDC’s Vaccine for Children program, ensuring access for those who may not have the means to afford it.