Influenza is a respiratory virus that causes acute respiratory illness. Severe illness and secondary complications lead to hospitalisation and death of young children, the elderly, pregnant women and those with a range of underlying medical conditions. However, healthy children and adults can also be at risk of serious illness following influenza infection.
This is a review of the recent literature, published from January 2013 to November 2017, about seasonal influenza vaccines and vaccinations. The aim of this review is to provide insight into the most effective use of influenza vaccination for the prevention of serious disease and deaths. It has been conducted to inform decisions around the New Zealand seasonal influenza immunisation programme, to help identify target groups for seasonal influenza vaccination, provide information about which vaccines are available and most appropriate to use, and how community immunity be better achieved to protect those in whom the vaccines may be less effective or contraindicated.