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From The Medical Letter on Drugs and Therapeutics
November 2, 2018

Influenza Vaccine for 2018-2019

JAMA. Published online November 2, 2018. doi:10.1001/jama.2018.17725

It is flu season. There is broad agreement that vaccination against the flu benefits individuals and the population at large. A comprehensive review of the various vaccinations and recommendations for administering them was published in the October 22, 2018, issue of The Medical Letter. Here we reprint some of the information from that review that will be useful for JAMA readers (Tables 1 and 2). For complete coverage of the influenza vaccine, including information on the timing, composition, effectiveness, population, adverse effects, and vaccine-vaccine interaction, please refer to the article.

Table 1.  
Vaccines for Older Adultsa
Vaccines for Older Adultsa
Table 2.  
Seasonal Influenza Vaccines for 2018-2019
Seasonal Influenza Vaccines for 2018-2019
The Bottom Line

Vaccination against seasonal influenza is recommended for all persons aged 6 months or older, including pregnant women. Quadrivalent vaccines offer broader coverage against influenza B viruses, which primarily infect children. The intranasal live-attenuated vaccine is once again a recommended option from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices for the 2018-2019 season. Recombinant, high-dose, and adjuvanted vaccines elicit greater antibody responses than standard-dose unadjuvanted vaccines among persons aged 65 years or older, and the high-dose and recombinant vaccines have been shown in randomized clinical trials to be more effective among older patients in preventing laboratory-confirmed influenza.

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Article Information

Published Online: November 2, 2018. doi:10.1001/jama.2018.17725

Once a month, The Medical Letter provides a previously published article to JAMA to be republished.

Previous Publication: The entire article was published in The Medical Letter on Drugs and Therapeutics. October 22, 2018;60(1558):169-173. It is reprinted here with permission from ©The Medical Letter Inc.

For a free trial subscription to The Medical Letter, go to www.medicalletter.org/tmlj. The Medical Letter—Essential to your practice.

About The Medical Letter: The Medical Letter is a nonprofit organization that publishes biweekly new drug evaluations and treatment recommendations. The Medical Letter does not sell advertising or receive any commercial support. Financial support comes primarily from sales of subscriptions, books, software, continuing education materials, and licenses.

Editors: Mark Abramowicz, MD, President; Gianna Zuccotti, MD, MPH, Vice President and Executive Editor; Jean-Marie Pflomm, PharmD, Editor in Chief