Influenza vaccination in older adults: challenges and strategies - QI&CPD - Category 2

Duration

1 hr

Profession

Physician

# of Credits

2.0

Accreditation

QI & CPD - Category 2

Expiry Date

2021-04-12

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 activity has been approved by The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners QI&CPD Program. Total Points: 2.00 Point(s) (Category 2)

Alan Leeb
MBBCh,
DTm&H DCH Dip Fam Med
FRACGP
Illawarra Medical Centre
Perth, Australia

Professor Paul Gaston Van Buynder
MBBS, MPH, FAFPHM
Griffith University
Staff Specialist, Gold Coast University Hospital
Southport, QLD, Australia

After completing this education, GPs will be better able to:

  1. 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
  2. Describe the mechanism of action, efficacy and safety of enhanced influenza vaccines especially in addressing antigenic drift and waning immunity
  3. Outline the effectiveness and tolerability of enhanced influenza vaccines in the older population
  4. Recognise those patients who would benefit from an enhanced influenza vaccine


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