Vaccination against influenza saves lives – a 2021 update

  • J C Meyer Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University
  • M Sibanda Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University
  • R J Burnett Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University
Keywords: influenza, vaccination, immunisation, prevention

Abstract

Influenza is a highly contagious, acute respiratory viral infection responsible for annual epidemics causing severe morbidity and mortality. Vaccination remains the most effective, live-saving preventative strategy, especially amongst populations at high risk of developing influenzarelated complications. The inactivated trivalent seasonal influenza vaccine contains two World Health Organization (WHO)-recommended influenza A and one influenza B strains, while the quadrivalent vaccine contains an additional B strain, providing broader protection against co-circulating influenza B lineages. Healthcare workers are instrumental in ensuring effective communication about the benefits of influenza vaccination to achieve optimal seasonal influenza vaccination coverage. This article provides an updated overview of the influenza vaccines with special consideration of the current COVID-19 pandemic.

Author Biographies

J C Meyer, Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University

School of Pharmacy, Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University and South African Vaccination and Immunisation Centre, Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University, South Africa

M Sibanda, Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University

School of Pharmacy, Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University and South African Vaccination and Immunisation Centre, Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University, South Africa

R J Burnett, Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University

South African Vaccination and Immunisation Centre, Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University and Department of Virology, School of Medicine, Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University, South Africa

Published
2021-05-06
Section
Reviews