Hong Kong Med J 2005;11:381-90 | Number 5, October 2005
Influenza vaccination: options and issues
SSY Wong, KY Yuen
Department of Microbiology, Centre of Infection, University of Hong Kong, Queen Mary Hospital, 102 Pokfulam Road, Hong Kong
Currently available vaccines have similar efficacy if they are matched to the most prevalent circulating strains. They also have comparable adverse effect profiles. The choice of a specific preparation of vaccine therefore requires consideration of cost, purity of the vaccine preparation in terms of the amount of egg protein and endotoxin, allergy to different constituents of the vaccine, reactogenicity profiles, as well as the preferred route of administration. Intradermal injection of the vaccine appears to be a viable alternative to the traditional intramuscular administration with the additional benefit of requiring a smaller volume of vaccine. Despite the documented benefits in various community and institutional settings, influenza vaccination has been underutilised by most target groups. A major obstacle to broader coverage of vaccination is the perceived ineffectiveness of the vaccine and the relatively benign nature of the illness in most patients. Uptake of vaccine among target populations, especially health care workers, needs to be improved through a concerted effort between frontline clinicians and health authorities.
Key words: Influenza; Influenza vaccines; vaccines, attenuated; Vaccines, inactivated
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