Vaccination against influenza saves lives – A 2021 update

J. C. Meyer*, M. Sibanda, R. J. Burnett

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Influenza is a highly contagious, acute respiratory viral infection responsible for annual epidemics causing severe morbidity and mortality. Vaccination remains the most effective, live-saving preventative strategy, especially amongst populations at high risk of developing influenza-related complications. The inactivated trivalent seasonal influenza vaccine contains two World Health Organization (WHO)-recommended influenza A and one influenza B strains, while the quadrivalent vaccine contains an additional B strain, providing broader protection against co-circulating influenza B lineages. Healthcare workers are instrumental in ensuring effective communication about the benefits of influenza vaccination to achieve optimal seasonal influenza vaccination coverage. This article provides an updated overview of the influenza vaccines with special consideration of the current COVID-19 pandemic.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13-18
Number of pages6
JournalSA Pharmaceutical Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 7 May 2021


  • Immunisation
  • Influenza
  • Prevention
  • Vaccination


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