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Mid-Season Influenza Vaccine Effectiveness Estimates Among DOD Populations: A Composite of Data Presented at VRBPAC—the Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee—2024 Meeting on Influenza Vaccine Strain Selection for the 2024-2025 Influenza Season

Image of 48088663. The Department of Defense participates in the annual Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee meeting by presenting its mid-season influenza data.

Each March, the Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee of the U.S. Food and Drug Agency meets to review and discuss data on influenza strain circulation and vaccine effectiveness estimates for the current influenza season.1 The committee then makes recommendations on the selection of strains for the influenza vaccines to be developed for the following influenza season. 

The Department of Defense participates in the VRBPAC meeting by presenting mid-season influenza data from the DOD’s global influenza surveillance, VE, and phylogenetic analyses, in addition to antigenic characterization of circulating viruses. DOD VE analyses are conducted among both service member and non-service member beneficiary populations to complement U.S. population VE estimates.2 

Timing of these analyses is dependent upon the timing of peak activity for each season. Typically, mid-season estimates cannot be generated until February, to allow for adequate testing and sufficient case numbers to provide a reliable sample size for analysis.

These DOD VE analyses represent a joint effort between the Defense Health Agency's Defense Centers for Public Health in Falls Church and Dayton and the Naval Health Research Center. The combined assessment of data from these organizations provides the DOD, FDA, and U.S. Centers for Disease Control with comprehensive mid-season information on how well the influenza vaccines are working for force health protection and the broader military health population. 

MSMR anticipates publishing these findings annually, in February or March, to disseminate this information more widely to interested individuals and public health agencies. 

Author Affiliations

Epidemiology and Analysis Branch, Armed Forces Health Surveillance Division, Defense Health Agency: Dr. Eick-Cost, Ms. Hu; Defense Centers for Public Health–Dayton, Defense Health Agency: Mr. Thervil, Ms. DeMarcus 

Disclaimer

The contents of this publication are the sole responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views, assertions, opinions, nor policies of the Defense Health Agency or the Department of Defense. 

References

  1. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee May 16, 2024 Meeting Announcement. https://www.fda.gov/advisory-committees/advisory-committee-calendar/vaccines-and-related-biological-products-advisory-committee-may-16-2024-meeting-announcement 
  2. McLean HQ, Petrie JG, Hanson KE, et al. Interim estimates of 2022-23 seasonal influenza vaccine effectiveness–Wisconsin, October 2022-February 2023. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2023;72:201-205.

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