Influenza News, Events & Resources


News

Flu shot OK for cancer patients on checkpoint inhibitors

A study, reported in MedPage Today, examined incidence of immune-related adverse events after flu vaccination. For cancer patients receiving treatment with immune checkpoint inhibitors for cancer, there was no increase in incidence of immune-related adverse events after receiving the flu shot, researchers found. No increase in incidence or severity of immune-related adverse events occurred in these advanced stage cancer patients, mostly with lung cancer and melanoma, within 2 months after receiving the inactivated influenza vaccine (IIV), reported Mini Kamboj, MD, of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, and colleagues.

For more information: https://tinyurl.com/y3wyoq6l

High-dose influenza vaccination is associated with better outcomes for older adults

Recently published study in the Canadian Medical Association Journal highlights advantages of using the high-dose flu vaccine over the standard-dose vaccination for adults aged 65 and older.

For more information: http://www.cmaj.ca/content/191/11/E313

Influenza vaccine tied to lower hospitalization rates in COPD patients

Patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) who receive a flu vaccine are significantly less likely to be hospitalized with influenza. Patients with COPD who are hospitalized with the flu are more likely to face serious health consequences than those hospitalized for other acute respiratory infections.

For more information: https://tinyurl.com/yym9pvnz

Not too late to get flu shot, health officials say
Despite early start to 2018-2019 flu season, vaccine still offers benefit. According to Ottawa Public Health, there have been two influenza-related deaths this season.  Health officials are still encouraging people to get vaccinated to protect both themselves and the vulnerable.
https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottawa/health-officials-still-encouraging-flu-shot-after-an-early-start-to-the-season-1.4964003

Canada falling short on flu vaccinations Just 38% of adults were vaccinated last year — 'too few' for the Public Health Agency of Canada
https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/flu-shot-vaccination-rates-1.4897357

FluWatch  Public Health Agency of Canada provides updates on flu activity across the country. Subscriptions to the service are free-of-charge. Reports indicate type of Influenza virus that is circulating in all major regions of the country. Influenza and other respiratory viruses are monitored weekly and results reported every Thursday in the Respiratory Virus Detections in Canada Report. More information is available through the following link:

https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/flu-influenza/influenza-surveillance.html

Events

Heart & Stroke recently hosted a webinar on influenza. Dr. Jacob Udell, a cardiologist and researcher at the University of Toronto discussed influenza prevention, its symptoms, and its risks particularly for those aged 65 years and older and living with chronic conditions. View the webinar through the following link:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PZfygcxk0Nk

Ontario Lung Association hosted a health policy webinar with Dr. Alison McGeer. The title of the webinar is Influenza Immunization Update for the 2018/2019 season. You can view the webinar through the following link:

http://mediasite.otn.ca/Mediasite/Play/9773a48f4afc483db632c3bcac33653a1d

The National Institute on Aging (NIA) and the Ontario Lung Association (OLA) are holding a Breathing Policy Forum on November 27, 2018 in Toronto. Attendance is limited. Registration is required. COPD Canada will provide a link to the published content from the forum when it becomes available. More information on the Breathing Policy Forum is available through the following link:

https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/the-importance-of-immunization-to-the-health-of-seniors-tickets-51716902648?utm_term=eventname_text

Diabetes Canada created a series of 4 webinars for specific high-risk ethic populations: Chinese, Afro-Caribbean, South Asian and Indigenous people. You can view the webinars through the following link:
https://www.diabetes.ca/in-your-community/diabetes-webinars

You can also find articles on influenza and aging on the Diabetes Canada web site by using the search function on the site – search Influenza to locate articles. To read a sample article click on the link following the title below:

Avoid the flu – Especially if you’re 65+
https://tinyurl.com/y9qwroar

Maclean’s magazine recently published two articles focused on the flu. A link to each article follows the title:

For older Canadians, the flu shot is a lifesaver
https://www.macleans.ca/sponsored/for-older-canadians-the-flu-shot-is-a-lifesaver/

Age or chronic conditions make the flu even more dangerous
https://www.macleans.ca/sponsored/age-or-chronic-conditions-make-the-flu-even-more-dangerous/

Personal Stories

Each year 12,200 people in Canada are hospitalized from the flu. Almost 70% of these are seniors. To view a touching story on the effect of the flu on a member of the community watch this:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xk0aCusLzFo

Resources


Immunize Canada has created an Influenza Pocket Guide which specifically mentions the National Advisory Committee on Immunization’s (NACI) recommendation for the high-dose flu vaccine. The pocket guide provides recommendations for choice of vaccine product for those 6 months up to 65+ as well as for certain high-risk groups. The public section includes a chart on provincial programs; a chart on publicly funded influenza vaccination programs and publicly funded season vaccines. Specific product recommendations are made for those adults 65 and older (high dose TIV). For a copy of the Influenza Pocket Guide click on the following link: https://tinyurl.com/y9ew8j27

Public Health Agency of Canada As part of the National Immunization Strategy objectives for 2016-2021, vaccination coverage goals and vaccine preventable disease reduction targets were set based on international standards and best practices. The goals and targets are consistent with Canada’s commitment to World Health Organization (WHO) disease elimination targets and Global Vaccine Action Plan, while reflecting the Canadian context. For more information:

https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/immunization-vaccine-priorities/national-immunization-strategy/vaccination-coverage-goals-vaccine-preventable-diseases-reduction-targets-2025.html


Clinical Trials - Influenza

CHEST 2019; 155(1):69-78
Effectiveness of influenza vaccination on hospitalizations and risk factors for severe outcomes in hospitalized patients with COPD
Influenza vaccination significantly reduced influenza-related hospitalization among patients with COPD. Initiatives to increase vaccination uptake and early use of antiviral agents among patients with COPD could reduce influenza-related hospitalization and critical illness and improve health-care costs in this vulnerable population.  ClinicalTrials.govNo.:NCT01517191; URL www.clinicaltrials.gov






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