Adult influenza vaccination guideline
Objective. To outline a rational cost-effective protocol for influenza vaccination of adults in South Africa.
Vaccine description. An inactivated (killed) virus vaccine containing three virus strains representing those most likely to circulate in the southern hemisphere during the upcoming winter. Vaccine success depends on the patient's age, immune system status, and degree of similarity of the virus strains contained in the vaccine to those circulating in the community.
Recommendations. Vaccination is: • potentially beneficial to any individual • very effective in young otherwise healthy individuals • targeted at high-risk groups when there is limited availability and cost considerations.
Evidence. Detailed literature review with emphasis on local South African studies.
Benefits, harms, costs. Successful vaccination may be effective. in protecting against acute respiratory tract infection, and preventing hospitalisation, complicating pneumonia and death. The vaccine is safe with only occasional reports of anaphylaxis. Contraindications to the vaccine are anaphylactic hypersensitivity to eggs, allergy to other components of the vaccine, and acute severe febrile illness. Vaccine cost-effectiveness has been confirmed in several groups, including healthy working adults, elderly living in the community, elderly with underlying chronic medical disorders.
Validation. Endorsement by the SA Pulmonology Society, SAMA and all who attended a multidisciplinary consensus meeting to consider the draft guideline.
Financial sponsor. Development supported by an umestricted educational grant by Pasteur Merieux Connaught to SAMA