Perspectives

Influenza: where is it and what can we expect for 2022?

Perspectives

Influenza: where is it and what can we expect for 2022?

EMILY LATHLEAN, Ian Barr

Figures

© maridav/stock.adobe.com model used for illustrative purposes only
© maridav/stock.adobe.com model used for illustrative purposes only

Abstract

In Australia, 2021 was a record-low season for influenza, most likely a result of reduced international travel due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With travel to and from Australia resuming and social interactions increasing, there is concern that 2022 could be a much worse season for influenza than 2020 or 2021. Influenza vaccination is therefore highly recommended for 2022, with a range of formulations available. GPs should encourage vaccination, particularly among vulnerable patient groups.

Key Points

  • 2021 was a record-low season for influenza in Australia, most likely because of reduced international travel due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Influenza is expected to re-emerge in Australia in 2022 with the resumption of international travel.
  • Influenza vaccination is recommended annually for all people aged six months and over and should ideally be administered before the onset of the influenza season.
  • Adults aged 65 years and over are at higher risk of serious disease from influenza and should preferably receive an adjuvanted or high-dose influenza vaccine, which offer better protection than the standard influenza vaccine.
  • All vaccinations must be recorded on the Australian Immunisation Register.
  • Influenza vaccines can be administered on the same day as a COVID-19 vaccine.