Trivalent adjuvanted influenza vaccine (aIIV3; Fluad®) was approved in the United States (U.S.) in 2015 for adults aged ≥65 years and has been in use since the 2016-17 influenza season.
We analyzed U.S. reports for aIIV3 submitted from July 1, 2016 through June 30, 2018 to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS), a national spontaneous reporting system. Medical records were reviewed for serious reports. Among individuals ≥65 years of age, the relative frequency of the most commonly reported adverse events (AEs) after aIIV3 were compared with non-adjuvanted inactivated influenza vaccines given to adults aged ≥65 years, high-dose trivalent influenza vaccine (IIV3-HD) and trivalent or quadrivalent vaccines (IIV3/IIV4). Data mining analyses were undertaken to identify whether AEs for aIIV3 occurred disproportionately more than expected compared to all influenza vaccines.
VAERS received 630 reports after aIIV3, of which 521 (83%) were in adults aged ≥65 years; 79 (13%) in persons <65 years and in 30 (5%) reports age was missing; 19 (3%) reports were serious, including two deaths (0.4%) related to myocardial infarction and Sjogren's syndrome. The most common AEs reported in adults aged ≥65 years were injection site pain (21%) and erythema (18%), with similar proportions reported for IIV3-HD (17% and 19%, respectively) and for IIV3/IIV4 (15%, each). Except for reports related to vaccination of inappropriate age (n = 79) and syringe malfunction (n = 6), data mining did not identify other disproportionately reported AEs.
Although our review of aIIV3 in VAERS did not identify any unexpected health conditions of concern, we observed more than twice the expected number of reports with administration of the vaccine to persons outside of the age range for which the vaccine is approved in the U.S. Health care providers should be educated on the age groups for whom aIIV3 is recommended.