The 2017/18 influenza season has been characterized by co-circulation of A (H3N2) and B (Yamagata) viruses, the latter contributing earlier than most seasons. The Canadian Sentinel Practitioner Surveillance Network (SPSN) was the first to publish 2017/18 mid-season vaccine effectiveness (VE) estimates for the northern hemisphere, including data to mid-January 2018. Dr. Skowronski will present updated 2017/18 VE estimates from the Canadian SPSN, alongside genetic characterization of contributing viruses and a review of findings subsequently published elsewhere. Public health implications of the findings will be discussed.
By the end of this session, participants will be able to:
1. Explain how influenza vaccine effectiveness (VE) is estimated annually in Canada and elsewhere.
2. Recognize the variability in influenza VE findings (e.g. by season, setting, subtype/lineage, and other subgroups), and how to contextualize numerical reports.
3. Consider agent-host interactions beyond vaccine match to circulating viruses that may play a role in influenza vaccine performance.
4. Describe the public health importance and implications, both real time and long term, of annual influenza VE monitoring.
Presenter: Dr. Danuta Skowronski
Dr. Danuta Skowronski is Epidemiology Lead responsible for surveillance, rapid response research, and program/policy recommendations for Influenza and Emerging Respiratory Pathogens at the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC). She has ~150 scientific publications primarily related to influenza, and has participated in numerous provincial, national, and international expert advisory committees and guidelines.
The opinions expressed by speakers and moderators do not necessarily reflect the official policies or views of Public Health Ontario, nor does the mention of trade names, commercial practices, or organizations imply endorsement by Public Health Ontario.
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