Survey Finds Pharmacists, Physicians Want CDC to Recommend High-Dose Quadrivalent Influenza Vaccines for Individuals 65 Years and Older

The survey results come as the ACIP evaluates data to provide guidance for flu vaccines in older adults.

A majority of surveyed health care providers in the United States said that if they could recommend one influenza vaccine for adults 65 years of age and older to the CDC, they would choose a vaccine with the clinical profile of the Fluzone High-Dose Quadrivalent vaccine.

The survey, which included 700 health care providers in the United States, was conducted by Ipsos and sponsored by Sanofi. It was designed to evaluate providers’ influenza vaccine brand preference for 3 different influenza vaccines.

According to the study, 66% of the respondents said that if they were voting members of the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), they would recommend a vaccine like the Fluzone High-Dose Quadrivalent for older adults. These responses cited several reasons, including the vaccine’s superior efficacy compared to a standard-dose influenza vaccine and total years evaluated in real-world studies.

The survey results come as ACIP evaluates data to provide guidance for flu vaccines in older adults. According to a Sanofi press release, the results underscore the importance of an ACIP preferential recommendation.

Influenza can lead to life-threatening complications, particularly in older adults, including pneumonia and serious heart conditions. Estimates have found that between 70% and 85% of flu-related deaths and between 50% and 70% of flu-related hospitalizations occurred in adults aged 65 years of age and older. However, ACIP recommendations for influenza vaccines in that population have not changed since 2010. Currently, ACIP does not provide preferential vaccine recommendations for these patients.

When presented with blinded clinical profiles of 3 vaccines (the Fluzone High-Dose Quadrivalent, Fluzone Quadrivalent, and Fluad Quadrivalent), nearly 74% of respondents said they would recommend a vaccine with the clinical profile of the Fluzone High-Dose Quadrivalent vaccine compared to another flu vaccine designed for this patient population.

Furthermore, 76% of respondents said that they would recommend a vaccine with this same clinical profile for their own family and friends who are aged 65 years or older, and 72% of health care providers said they would prefer a vaccine with this clinical profile for themselves if they are in this age range. Finally, 96% of health care providers are very or somewhat likely to follow ACIP guidance when vaccinating older adults for the seasonal flu.

“Given the importance of protecting this vulnerable population from the flu, this new survey underscores the need for clear and specific guidance, ideally with a recommendation for Fluzone High-Dose Quadrivalent, based on demonstrated clinical results and real-world evidence,” said Michael Greenberg, MD, North America medical head of vaccines at Sanofi, in the press release. “In fact, most health care professionals surveyed said they would prefer a vaccine with the clinical profile of Fluzone High-Dose Quadrivalent for themselves, their family, and friends.”

The Fluzone High-Dose Quadrivalent vaccine has protection against 4 flu strains and is the only influenza vaccine licensed for use in adults 65 years of age and older to have demonstrated superior efficacy in a randomized controlled trial versus a standard dose influenza vaccine, according to Sanofi. It is also the only influenza vaccine with 10 years of data demonstrating protection from the flu and its related complications, according to the press release.

In a meta-analysis of 15 published reports, including approximately 34 million vaccine recipients, those who received the Fluzone High-Dose Quadrivalent experienced an approximately 18% reduction in cardiorespiratory hospitalizations and a more than 27% decrease in pneumonia hospitalizations, both of which are reductions above what the standard dose vaccines provided.

“[ACIP] guidance could help to improve patient and provider confidence, patient outcomes, and access for patients to the recommended vaccine,” Greenberg said in the press release. “It’s important for ACIP guidance to follow the science, especially for older adults who suffer the greatest burden from seasonal flu.”

REFERENCE

Survey: Physicians and pharmacists would tell CDC to recommend vaccine like Fluzone High-Dose Quadrivalent (Influenza Vaccine) for people 65 years and older. News release. Sanofi; June 22, 2022. Accessed June 22, 2022. https://www.news.sanofi.us/2022-06-21-Survey-Physicians-and-pharmacists-would-tell-CDC-to-recommend-vaccine-like-Fluzone-High-Dose-Quadrivalent-Influenza-Vaccine-for-people-65-years-and-older