RIGA, Latvia--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Canadian parents who are educated about immunizing their infants against influenza with an adjuvanted trivalent influenza vaccine (aTIV) see it as a wise, effective, and safe choice. But public-funding status can greatly influence their opinions and intentions to actually immunize children with the vaccine.
These are the findings of a recent influenza-vaccine study that will be presented at the Sixth ESWI Influenza Conference taking place Sept. 10-13 in Riga, Latvia.
Canada recently approved MF59®-aTIV for use in children ages 6 to 24 months old. But the vaccine is not publicly funded. This presents potential challenges for a country where childhood influenza immunization rates fall well below national targets.1
“Children aged 6 months to 4 years are at a higher risk for influenza-related complications, but only 31 percent are immunized in Canada,” said Dr. John Yaremko, Montreal Children’s Hospital. “That falls far short of Canada’s coverage goal of 80 percent.1 Closing this gap requires bolstering public confidence in the influenza vaccine for young children. And one way we can do that is by discussing the importance of influenza vaccination with all parents and their various options for influenza vaccines.”
In the study, a vast majority of parents considered routine influenza immunization of infants with aTIV to be wise, effective, and safe after consultation with a health-care professional. Additionally, more than 70 percent of these parents intended to vaccinate their infant with aTIV if the vaccine was free of charge.
However, if the vaccine is not publicly funded, most of these parents believe it means that influenza is not a threat to infants and that the aTIV is not adequately effective. As a result, the study found that parents who intend to immunize their children with aTIV decreased from 73 percent if the vaccine is publicly funded and free to 27 percent if it is not publicly funded and at a cost to the parent.
“Interviews with Canadian parents suggest that after minimal health-care professional interaction, parents’ attitudes toward aTIV and their perceptions of social and physician support for vaccination strongly predict their acceptance of the vaccine,” said Dr. William Fisher, PhD, professor of psychology at the University of Western Ontario.
“The perceived cost of aTIV makes a difference, but attitudes towards vaccinating one’s infant still drive the decision process. Health-care professionals should routinely provide information on influenza and aTIV to parents to raise awareness and to allow individuals to make well-informed decisions about the suitability of aTIV for their child,” adds Dr. Fisher.
The aTIV study was led by Dr. Fisher and sponsored by Seqirus. Fifteen community-practice clinics and nine public-health clinics participated in the studies, and parents of 6- to 24-month-old children were enrolled. Physicians provided parents with information about influenza disease and vaccination, and parents were asked about their attitudes toward immunization and intentions to vaccinate with aTIV, including whether it matters if the vaccine is publicly funded.
Seqirus is part of CSL Limited (ASX:CSL), headquartered in Melbourne, Australia. The CSL Group of companies employs more than 20,000 people with operations in more than 60 countries.
Seqirus was established on July 31, 2015 following CSL’s acquisition of the Novartis influenza vaccines business and its subsequent integration with bioCSL. As the second largest influenza vaccine provider in the world, Seqirus is a major contributor to the prevention of influenza globally and a transcontinental partner in pandemic preparedness.
Seqirus operates state-of-the-art production facilities in the US, the UK and Australia, and manufactures influenza vaccines using both egg-based and cell-based technologies. It has leading R&D capabilities, a broad portfolio of differentiated products and a commercial presence in more than 20 countries.
1. Government of Canada. “Influenza vaccine uptake: Results from the 2015/16 national influenza immunization coverage survey in Canada.” Available at: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/publications/healthy-living/vaccine-uptake-results-2015-16-national-influenza-immunization-coverage-survey.html. Accessed August 2017.
Seqirus is a CSL Limited company. ASX:CSL ABN: 26 260 735 035 aTIV CA/CORP/0917/0003