HCP Live
Contagion LiveCGT LiveNeurology LiveHCP LiveOncology LiveContemporary PediatricsContemporary OBGYNEndocrinology NetworkPractical CardiologyRheumatology Netowrk

Influenza Vaccine Update: What Can We Expect This Immunization Season?

With the impending start to the 2022-2023 influenza season just a few months away, here is some information on what is being studied for vaccines as well as recommendations and new testing.

Although it is hard to believe those of us in the northern hemisphere are going to be eligible for next season’s influenza vaccines in 3 months, it is important to recognize the work being done in this area of medicine.

Earlier this year, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommended that quadrivalent vaccines for use in the 2022-2023 influenza season in the northern hemisphere contain the following:

Egg-based vaccines

  • an A/Victoria/2570/2019 (H1N1)pdm09-like virus;
  • an A/Darwin/9/2021 (H3N2)-like virus;
  • a B/Austria/1359417/2021 (B/Victoria lineage)-like virus; and
  • a B/Phuket/3073/2013 (B/Yamagata lineage)-like virus.

Cell culture- or recombinant-based vaccines

  • an A/Wisconsin/588/2019 (H1N1)pdm09-like virus;
  • an A/Darwin/6/2021 (H3N2)-like virus;
  • a B/Austria/1359417/2021 (B/Victoria lineage)-like virus; and
  • a B/Phuket/3073/2013 (B/Yamagata lineage)-like virus.

In addition, the WHO recommends that trivalent vaccines for use in the 2022-2023 influenza season in the northern hemisphere contain the following:

Egg-based vaccines

  • an A/Victoria/2570/2019 (H1N1)pdm09-like virus;
  • an A/Darwin/9/2021 (H3N2)-like virus; and
  • a B/Austria/1359417/2021 (B/Victoria lineage)-like virus.

Cell culture- or recombinant-based vaccines

  • an A/Wisconsin/588/2019 (H1N1)pdm09-like virus;
  • an A/Darwin/6/2021 (H3N2)-like virus; and
  • a B/Austria/1359417/2021 (B/Victoria lineage)-like virus

The Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Vaccine and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC) voted unanimously to support the WHO's recommendations.

In looking to address influenza, pharmaceutical companies are developing vaccines for specific age groups and creating combination vaccines to address multiple viruses.

Just last week the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) granted preferential recommendation for differentiated influenza vaccines for adults 65 years and older.

Another area of interest is companies studying combination vaccines that include addressing more than just influenza. For example, SARS-Co-V2, and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) are both being included in some manufacturers' plans for vaccine development.

Sanofi Fluzone High-Dose Quadrivalent influenza vaccine. Contagion recently spoke to Sanofi Medical Director Christopher Rizzo, MD, on why there is a need for a high-dose influenza vaccine for seniors, and what it means to have Fluzone to receive ACIP’s preferential recommendation.

Moderna’s various influenza and combination vaccines.Earlier this month, Moderna reported it had started dosing participants in its phase 3 study for it influenza vaccine candidate, MRNA-1010.

During its third annual Vaccines Day at the end of March, Moderna announced developments of its new vaccine programs and reviewed data. The company is utilizing its mRNA technology platform for multiple disease states, and have investigational vaccines in various phases of development and study.

Moderna is developing its mRNA-1230 vaccine to cover SARS-CoV-2, influenza, and RSV.

Novavax COVID-19 Influenza Combination Vaccine. This investigational vaccine combines the company’s COVID-19 vaccine, NVX-CoV2373, and its quadrivalent influenza vaccine candidate. The preliminary trial results found that various vaccine formulations induced immune responses in participants comparable to reference stand-alone influenza and stand-alone COVID-19 vaccine formulations (for H1N1, H3N2, B-Victoria HA and SARS-CoV-2 rS antigens). Modeling results also showed that a combined formulation has the potential to reduce total antigen amount by up to 50% overall, optimizing production and delivery.

"We're encouraged by these data and the potential path forward for a combination COVID-19-influenza vaccine as well as stand-alone vaccines for influenza and COVID-19," Novavax President of Research and Development Gregory M. Glenn, MD, said in a statement.

Testing. The FDA granted an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) to the Labcorp Seasonal Respiratory Virus RT-PCR DTC Test to detect COVID-19, influenza, and RSV back in May. This is the first test authorized for all 3 viruses and is over the counter.