MHRA approve new flu vaccine for use within the UK
Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency has cleared the adjuvanted trivalent influenza vaccine Fluad for use in people aged 65 years or older.
Fluad, which is manufactured by CSL company Seqirus, has been available in Europe since 1997 but has only just been launched in the UK.
According to the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), adjuvanted trivalent influenza vaccine (aTIV) studies have indicated a “higher vaccine immunogenicity and effectiveness for the adjuvanted vaccine in comparison with non-adjuvanted vaccines”, and could “potentially be used in the [influenza] programme from the 2018/19 season”.
“The burden of influenza in adults aged 65 years and over continues to be a significant and major problem, causing many thousands of hospitalisations and substantial excess mortality every winter,” noted GP and immunisation expert, Dr George Kassianos.
“Older patients have a weaker response to existing conventional non-adjuvanted vaccines. The evidence shows that this new adjuvanted influenza vaccine boosts the immune response in adults aged 65 years and over, and thereby offers greater protection for this specific age group when compared to existing conventional non-adjuvanted influenza vaccines.”
“This adjuvanted vaccine has a well-established safety and tolerability profile through its use in Europe and other parts of the world,” added Pauline MacDonald, an independent consultant nurse specialising in immunisation and former member of the JCVI.
“Its 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.”