Determining optimal community protection strategies for the influenza vaccine
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Introduction: Seasonal influenza poses a major risk to the health of the population. Optimal strategies for influenza vaccination can help to reduce this risk. Areas covered: Systematic evaluations of the burden of influenza are first reviewed. Key meta-analysis, randomized trials, and observational studies are critically reviewed to provide the best estimates of the efficacy of influenza vaccine. The concept of herd effect is first introduced and this is followed by the rationale and the evidence to support herd effect that can be provided with strategic use of influenza vaccination in populations. Challenges including the effect of repeated influenza vaccination and vaccine hesitancy are reviewed. The citations were selected by the authors based on PubMed searches of the literature. Expert opinion: Efforts to develop new vaccines, including a universal vaccine, offer the best prospects for improved herd effect. Increasing uptake in new populations can increase likelihood of a herd effect.
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