- New vaccines in development to increase safety, effectiveness
- Australians urged to get vaccinated early
- World Health Organization recommends strain change
In 2022, the seasonal influenza market in Asia-Pacific will be valued at $1.7 billion, according to a report by GBI Research. The market is growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.7%, increasing from $1.24 billion in 2015.
Asia-Pacific is an attractive market for seasonal influenza vaccine manufacturers because of the changed perception of patient populations.
The seasonal influenza vaccine has been continuously improving for years. Currently, influenza vaccines are manufactured using eggs, but these treatments are being replaced with cell-culture vaccines. This transition is forecasted to reduce problems associated with the production and use of egg=based vaccines.
Trivalent and quadrivalent vaccines dominate the seasonal influenza market, but have problems regarding efficacy and safety. The trend is to move from trivalent to quadrivalent formulations, because quadrivalent vaccines are more effective against the influenza Type B strain. By 2022, GBI Research believes quadrivalent seasonal influenza vaccines will completely replace their trivalent vaccines.
There is a high number of vaccines in early-development stage. Research and development is focused on creating new formulations, creating vaccines using the cell-culture method, quadrivalent vaccines or the development of pediatric versions of vaccines already on the market.
Australians Urged to Be Vaccinated
Australia’s health ministry is encouraging people to get vaccinated early this year. This year’s vaccine will protect against four influenza stains.
The government will make 4.5 million doses available for free through the National Immunisation Program.
“Receiving the vaccine from April allows protection from the flu to develop well ahead of the peak transmission period, which usually falls around August,” Australia’s Chief Medical Officer Professor Brendan Murphy told News.com.
Annually, the flu kills 170 Australians and hospitalizes 5,000.
World Health Organization Recommendation
The World Health Organization recommends a change in the strains available in vaccines in Northern Hemisphere for the 2017-2018 flu season, according to the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy.
The WHO recommends replacing A/California/7/2009 with A/Michigan/45/2015 in the H1N1 vaccine. A change also has been made to the H3N2 vaccine, switching to an A/Hong Hong/4801/2014-like virus, and to the Type B vaccine, switching to a Brisbane/60/2008-like virus.
The changes are intended to prevent a pandemic.
The WHO also recommended these changes for the 2016-2017 Southern Hemisphere flu season.
The U.S. Strategic National Stockpile has enough vaccines to protect 12 million people, but none comply with the new WHO recommendation.
Seasonal Influenza Therapies in Asia-Pacific
- Influenza is often called simply the flu. It is an acute infection caused by one of the three closely viruses which are designated influenza Type A, B, and C.
- Effective and prompt treatment with antiviral medication is very difficult because of influenza’s rapid onset and the potential for high morbidity and mortality, particularly in high-risk patient populations including young children and the elderly.
- The preferred intervention for seasonal influenza is the prophylactic vaccination.