Territory Medical Blog
Posted on 24 October, 2018

There maybe NO "Flu Season" in the Top End

There maybe NO

Influenza Vaccine 2018 -Continue to vaccinate

The NT Government issued information stating that:

The northern Territory often has further peaks of influenza well into November and even December and therefore it is important to ensure all your eligible patients have received their influenza vaccine for 2018. If they have not received one yet, its not too late, vaccinate now. 
Dept of Health Immunisation Centre for Disease Control 10.10.2018

Further Discussion from observational studies Overseas 

An interesting study was shared by 'Travax Literature Watch' monitored by our Darwin Travel Doctors.  It prompts much discussion regarding our Flu vaccine in the Top End.

Six-monthly versus annual influenza vaccination in older adults in the tropics: an observer-blind, active-comparator controlled, randomized superiority trial.

Clin Infect Dis. 2018. doi:10.1093/cid/ciy836 - Epub ahead of print

This latest study reviewed the impact of the Influenza Virus in tropical climates such as the Top End.

In the tropics, the influenza season may last the entire year and outlive the duration of efficacy of a standard seasonal vaccine. This study was designed to determine the effects on safety and immunogenicity in the tropics if seasonal influenza vaccination were to be repeated every 6 months in persons ≥ 65 years.

Conclusions

Residents in the tropics aged ≥ 65 years might benefit from a 6-monthly influenza vaccination schedule and further preliminary studies are needed.

A traveler already vaccinated with the seasonal vaccine of a temperate country and intending to travel to a tropical or opposite-hemisphere country where seasonal influenza is ongoing might benefit from a repeat vaccination 6 months after the first.

If you have concerns regarding your protection from Flu Virus's please make an appointment with your Darwin Travel Doctor today.

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