Influenza Vaccines

Influenza Vaccines Photo
Influenza virus infections cause seasonal epidemics, affecting millions of people worldwide. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates ~300,000-500,000 deaths per year worldwide due to seasonal influenza and more than $26.8-87.1 billion/year in healthcare costs in the United States alone. Influenza, a segmented RNA virus achieves part of its ongoing virulence as a result of its strikingly high mutation rate, typically reported for Influenza A viruses of ~2 to 2.5 × 10-3mutations/site/year. Thus, is the intense effort and energy devoted to achieving effective long-term human and veterinarian vaccines. Currently, licensed influenza vaccines are either trivalent (three influenza strains) or quadrivalent (four influenza strains), as either an injectable inactivated whole virus (IIV) or a nasal spray live attenuated vaccine (LAIV). Although efficacious, standard traditional Influenza vaccine production is laborious, only moderately high-throughput and requires physical plants housing and/or incubating millions of specific-pathogen-free eggs. Research targeting alternate strategies has been prodigious, both at the preclinical and even Phase I clinical level, and has investigated approaches such as split virion, subunit, DNA, and viral vectored vaccines. Among the recently-explored, more novel and potentially-promising strategies has been recombinant particulate vaccines generally comprising virus-like particles or nanoparticles.

  • Evaluation of Vaccine safety and effectiveness
  • Implementation of Vaccination policies
  • Maternal immunization
  • Response to vaccine in model animals
  • DNA vaccines
  • Current and novel approaches

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Science Policy Interface topics

       1.  Influenza is a moving target and a secret killer

2.   Prevention and treatment of influenza

3.   Addressing influenza in practice: who’s involved?

4.   Implementation of vaccination policies: success stories and hurdles

5.   Influenza preparedness: what can we learn from other virus outbreaks?

6.   Reaching out to people at risk

7.   Influenza prevention in developing countries: a global responsibility

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