Every year, the public and health care system experience clinical and financial consequences of
influenza epidemics. Influenza infection leads to hospitalizations, deaths, excess medication usage,
and days missed from work and school. Influenza is a preventable disease, and advisory bodies in the
United States recommend influenza vaccine for everyone 6 months and older, with particular emphasis
on the need to vaccinate young children, older adults, and persons of all ages with high-risk
conditions, including cardiovascular disease.1 In 2013, an
unprecedented number of influenza vaccines are available in the US market, including quadrivalent
vaccines, live, attenuated vaccines, high-dose vaccines, and vaccines manufactured in cell
culture.1 Comparative trials in certain pediatric age groups
have shown the relative benefits of live, attenuated influenza vaccine and as yet unlicensed
adjuvanted vaccines.2,3 Likewise, studies
evaluating the comparative benefits of high-dose vs standard-dose influenza vaccines in older adults
are nearing completion.4
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