Fluad: new flu vaccine for older adults

Adults aged 65 years and over can now be offered increased protection from flu with the adjuvanted trivalent influenza vaccine Fluad.

Fluad contains the adjuvant MF59 to enhance its immunogenicity in older adults. | iStock.com/fstop123
Fluad contains the adjuvant MF59 to enhance its immunogenicity in older adults. | iStock.com/fstop123

Fluad is recommended for flu immunisation in people aged 65 years and over after the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) concluded that the adjuvanted vaccine has higher immunogenicity and effectiveness than non-adjuvanted vaccines in this age group.

The JCVI agreed that use of the adjuvanted vaccine should be prioritised for people aged 75 years and over, given that non-adjuvanted vaccines have shown no significant effectiveness in this age group over recent flu seasons.

Pauline MacDonald, an Independent Consultant Nurse specialising in immunisation and former member of the JCVI, said: ‘This adjuvanted vaccine has a well-established safety and tolerability profile through its use in Europe and other parts of the world. 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’.

The immunogenicity of Fluad was demonstrated in 16 randomised controlled trials that included 5869 people who received adjuvanted vaccine and 5236 given non-adjuvanted vaccine.

Clinical effectiveness was shown in two observational studies. In a multi-year Italian study in 107,661 people aged ≥65 years, the adjusted risk of hospitalisation for influenza or pneumonia was 25% lower in those who received the adjuvanted vaccine than in those given non-adjuvanted vaccine (95% CI 2–43%). In a retrospective Canadian case-control study (n=282), the relative vaccine effectiveness for the adjuvanted vaccine was 63% (p=0.04) compared with non-adjuvanted vaccine.

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