Influenza vaccines: present and future

Adv Virus Res. 1999;54:349-73. doi: 10.1016/s0065-3527(08)60371-1.


Immunization is the most feasible method for preventing influenza. Vaccination against influenza is recommended for everyone 65 years of age and older and for persons less than 65 years of age who are at risk for developing complications of influenza. Immune correlates of protection have been established, and a global network is in place to monitor the appearance and circulation of antigenic variants of influenza viruses, as well as the appearance of novel subtypes of influenza A. Antigenic and genetic analyses of circulating viruses and testing of serum from vaccine recipients guide vaccine composition updates. The efficacy of influenza vaccines depends in part on the closeness of the antigenic match between the vaccine strain and the epidemic strain. Currently licensed influenza vaccines are trivalent, formalin-inactivated, egg-derived vaccines; their efficacy ranges from 70 to 90% in young, healthy populations when there is a close antigenic match between vaccine strains and epidemic strains. Development of intranasally administered alternative vaccines and improvement of the existing vaccine are areas of active research. A trivalent, ca live vaccine is the most promising LAIV candidate. In a field trial, efficacy rates of LAIV in young children were 96% against influenza A (H3N2) and 91% against influenza B. However, few data are available to compare this formulation of the trivalent ca live vaccine with the trivalent, inactivated vaccine. Influenza vaccine recommendations will most likely be revised on licensure of LAIV; each vaccine may offer distinct advantages in specific populations.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Influenza A virus / immunology
  • Influenza B virus / immunology
  • Influenza Vaccines* / administration & dosage
  • Influenza Vaccines* / immunology
  • Influenza, Human / prevention & control*
  • Middle Aged
  • Vaccination
  • Viral Vaccines / administration & dosage
  • Viral Vaccines / immunology


  • Influenza Vaccines
  • Viral Vaccines