Evaluation of Southern Hemisphere influenza vaccine recommendations

Stephanie A. Richard*, Cécile Viboud, Mark A. Miller

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


In 1999, the World Health Organization switched from annual to semi-annual recommendations for influenza vaccine composition. We compared the antigenic match between recommendations and circulating viruses before and after 1999, in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres. Vaccine match proportion for A/H3N2 viruses increased from 31% to 59% in the Southern Hemisphere (P < 0.05), and is now comparable to that in the Northern Hemisphere. Vaccine match for influenza B decreased from ∼100% to 33-54% in both hemispheres (P < 0.05), following the unexpected resurgence of influenza B/Victoria in 1997. No estimate was available for influenza A/H1N1. We conclude that semi-annual vaccine recommendations are useful overall and discuss potential ways forward, including a recommendation for the improvement of vaccination policy and influenza surveillance in tropical areas.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2693-2699
Number of pages7
Issue number15
StatePublished - 24 Mar 2010


  • Antigenic characteristics
  • Influenza
  • Northern Hemisphere
  • Seasonality
  • Southern Hemisphere
  • Vaccine match
  • WHO recommendations


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