Seasonal influenza (flu) is an acute respiratory infection which typically affects 5 to 10% of people in the general community each year, although the rate can be as high as 20%. Contracting the flu can lead to serious complications, particularly among high-risk groups. Older adults who are infected, for example, are at a substantially elevated risk of developing these complications than adults of younger age. Complications can range from respiratory distress to conditions related to ischaemic cardiomyopathy, cerebrovascular disease and exacerbation of diabetes. Influenza infection can also cause hospitalisation and death among high-risk groups. In industrialised countries such as Australia, most deaths associated with influenza occur among individuals who are 65 years of age or older, with mortality rates progressively increasing after the age of 70.
This online CME event is an Accredited Distance/Remote based education module as defined by the Professional Development Program of the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine. ACRRM member participation and information will be noted and sent directly to the ACRRM for accreditation processing. Please allow 30 days for ACRRM to send you your points. This activity is approved for 2 Core Point(s).
DTm&H DCH Dip Fam Med
Illawarra Medical Centre
Professor Paul Gaston Van Buynder
MBBS, MPH, FAFPHM
Staff Specialist, Gold Coast University Hospital
Southport, QLD, Australia
After completing this education, GPs will be better able to:
- Identify the challenges of influenza vaccination in older adults (≥ 65 years of age), including immunosenescence, the H3N2 strain and its tendency to undergo antigenic drift
- Describe the mechanism of action, efficacy and safety of enhanced influenza vaccines especially in addressing antigenic drift and waning immunity
- Outline the effectiveness and tolerability of enhanced influenza vaccines in the older population
- Recognise those patients who would benefit from an enhanced influenza vaccine