Seqirus, a global leader in influenza prevention, is presenting key research at the Canadian Immunization Conference 2020 (CIC) contributing to Canadian public health professionals’ knowledge of influenza vaccines, including data on cell-based vaccine technologies and insights on how COVID-19 is affecting Canadians’ views of seasonal influenza vaccinations.
Seqirus is presenting absolute efficacy data on its cell-based quadrivalent influenza vaccine (QIVc) from a randomized controlled trial (RCT). In the study, QIVc met its primary endpoint, indicating that it is effective and could produce a sufficient immune response against influenza in children and adolescents between ≥2 to <18 years of age over three influenza seasons in the Southern (2017) and Northern (2017/18 and 2018/19) Hemispheres. This represents the first absolute efficacy study of a cell-based influenza vaccine in this population.1
“Seqirus data being presented at CIC is significant, particularly the QIVc study, which demonstrated absolute efficacy in children and adolescents between two and 18 years of age, showing consistent benefit across three seasons, two continents and eight countries,” said Bertrand Roy, Ph.D., Country Head Medical Affairs Canada at Seqirus.
“I am pleased that Seqirus is sharing data at CIC 2020 showing absolute efficacy of our QIVc vaccine among those aged 2 to 18,” said Gillian Stafford, Canada Commercial Director, Seqirus. “FLUCELVAX® received Health Canada approval almost a year ago and this is the first influenza season it is available – privately across Canada and publicly in Ontario’s influenza vaccination program. Data such as these reinforce the safety and efficacy of cell-based vaccine technology for prevention of seasonal influenza, which is particularly important during the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Highlights from Other Seqirus Presentations:
Health care professionals are more likely to recommend, and consumers are more likely to receive, a cell-based influenza vaccine.2 This is likely a contributing factor to raising the current vaccination rate over 38.3 per cent. A total of 1,000 Canadian adults were surveyed between April 3-9, 2019.2 Fifty-four per cent of consumers would receive a cell-based influenza vaccine and 90 per cent of health care professionals would recommend it, if available for free.2
As COVID-19 continues to circulate, this influenza season is different from past seasons, with new challenges. Seqirus sought to understand how Canadians perceive seasonal influenza amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and assess how these perceptions may increase or decrease their getting the seasonal influenza vaccine. A total of 1,493 adult Canadians were surveyed between June 15-21, 2020.3 Up to 58 per cent of Canadians surveyed indicated they are planning to get an influenza vaccine this season (up from 42 per cent during the 2018-2019 influenza season).3, Also, 40 per cent of those surveyed said they could tell the difference between influenza and COVID-19 symptoms.3
This real-world quality improvement program showed that a short and practical pharmacy intervention (pharmacy staff telephoned adults to recommend influenza vaccination) in three provinces (B.C., Alberta and Saskatchewan) was able to reach the World Health Organization’s (WHO) influenza immunization target of 75 per cent for older adults.6, With the immunization issues during a pandemic, this program may be able to ensure higher levels of seasonal influenza vaccination within the community.6 Out of 643 adults contacted, 485 scheduled an appointment to receive the influenza vaccine in response to the pharmacy intervention, representing influenza coverage of 75.4 per cent.6
About Seasonal Influenza
Influenza is a common, contagious seasonal respiratory disease and can cause mild to severe illness, which can result in hospitalization or death. Adults may spread influenza to others from 1 day before symptoms begin to approximately 5 days after symptoms start. Children and people with weakened immune systems may be infectious longer.
Influenza is related to an average of 12,200 hospitalizations and approximately 3,500 deaths each year in Canada.8 Canada’s National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) recommends annual influenza vaccination for all individuals six months of age and older. 8 Further, NACI recommends the inclusion of all children between 6 and 59 months of age among the particularly recommended recipients of influenza vaccine. 8
NACI recommends that healthcare providers in Canada offer the seasonal influenza vaccine as soon as feasible after it becomes available in the fall, since seasonal influenza activity may start as early as October in the Northern Hemisphere. 8
Seqirus is part of CSL Limited (ASX: CSL). As one of the largest influenza vaccine providers in the world, Seqirus is a major contributor to the prevention of influenza globally and a transcontinental partner in pandemic preparedness. With state-of-the-art production facilities in the U.S., the U.K. and Australia, and leading R&D capabilities, Seqirus utilizes egg, cell and adjuvant technologies to offer a broad portfolio of differentiated influenza vaccines in more than 20 countries around the world.
CSL (ASX:CSL) is a leading global biotechnology company with a dynamic portfolio of life-saving medicines, including those that treat hemophilia and immune deficiencies, as well as vaccines to prevent influenza. Since our start in 1916, we have been driven by our promise to save lives using the latest technologies. Today, CSL – including our two businesses, CSL Behring and Seqirus – provides life-saving products to more than 100 countries and employs more than 27,000 people. Our unique combination of commercial strength, R&D focus and operational excellence enables us to identify, develop and deliver innovations so our patients can live life to the fullest. For more information about CSL Limited, visit www.csl.com.
This press release may contain forward-looking statements, including statements regarding future results, performance or achievements. These statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause our actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from any future results, performances or achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. These statements reflect our current views with respect to future events and are based on assumptions and subject to risks and uncertainties. Given these uncertainties, you should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements.
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 Fortanier, A.C., Põder, A., Bravo, L.C., et al. (2020). Efficacy of Cell-Derived Quadrivalent Influenza Vaccine in Prevention of Clinical Influenza in Children 2 to <18 Years of Age: Results of a Randomised Controlled Trial. Presented at CIC.
 Stafford, G., Beauchamp, P. (2019). Acceptability of a Publicly Funded Cell-based Influenza Vaccine with Improved Effectiveness. Presented at CIC.
 Murray Perrault, K., Beauchamp, P. (2020). COVID-19 Pandemic Impact on Patient Attitudes About the Influenza Season and Vaccination. Presented at CIC.
 Government of Canada. (2020). Guidance for influenza vaccine delivery in the presence of COVID-19. Retrieved from: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/immunization/national-advisory-committee-on-immunization-naci/guidance-influenza-vaccine-delivery-covid-19.html#a2. Accessed November 2020.
 Public Health Agency of Canada. (2019). Vaccine uptake in Canadian adults 2019. Retrieved from: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/publications/healthy-living/2018-2019-influenza-flu-vaccine-coverage-survey-results.html. Accessed November 2020.
 Strain, W.D., Boivin, M., Mansi, J., Boikos, C., Fisher, W. (2020). Achieving Influenza Vaccine Uptake Target in Canada via a Pharmacy-led Telephone Discussion During the 2019-2020 Season. Presented at CIC.
 World Health Organization. (2003). Prevention and Control of Influenza Pandemics and Annual Epidemics. Retrieved from: https://www.who.int/immunization/sage/1_WHA56_19_Prevention_and_control_of_influenza_pandemics.pdf?ua=1. Accessed November 2020.
 Government of Canada. (2020). Canadian Immunization Guide Chapter on Influenza and Statement on Seasonal Influenza Vaccine for 2020–2021 Retrieved from: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/publications/vaccines-immunization/canadian-immunization-guide-statement-seasonal-influenza-vaccine-2020-2021.html. Accessed November 2020.