The global influenza (flu) vaccine market is expected to witness strong growth owing to increasing geriatric population. High prevalence of seasonal influenza and growing awareness of the disease among individuals can drive the market. Elderly population is highly prone to various illnesses, such as influenza, due to low immunity. Additionally, individuals, such as children, pregnant women, and immunosuppressed patients suffering from a chronic disease, are susceptible to such illnesses. Effective communication between the prescriber and patients, evolving government policies, and increasing support by organizations, such as WHO and IFPMA, are likely to supplement market growth in the coming years.
Furthermore, collective efforts by the government, pharmaceutical companies, and non-profitable organizations for the clinical research and development of cost-effective vaccines can have a positive impact on market growth. Furthermore, intellectual property rights are providing security to the patent holders, which helps to sustain their market share. Future patent expirations for prominent products and rising popularity of influenza drugs as over-the-counter (OTC) products are likely to create opportunities for generic manufacturers.
However, low awareness regarding availability of new versions of vaccines and lack of better reimbursement facilities may hinder market growth. In addition, high tolerance of viral strains towards conventional compositions is expected to limit the adoption of the product. Complexity involved in the development of such a vaccine and approval system, and strict government regulations can restrain market growth in coming years.
Quadrivalent vaccine holds a larger share in the market and is likely to maintain its dominance in the coming years. It is approved for the age group of two and above sixty years. It is inexpensive than other products available in the market. Occurrence rate of the flu among children below two years or more is high. Hence, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it is required to get a special influenza vaccination for them. Flu vaccine production technologies approved by the U.S. FDA include egg-based, cell-based, and recombinant flu vaccine. The cell culture-derived influenza vaccines are developed as an improved method to provide protection against flu.
In terms of volume and revenue, North America is considered to be the leading regional market, followed by Europe. Demand for these vaccines has increased in countries, such as Canada, the U.S., and Mexico. Rising focus of the U.S. CDS on controlling the disease rates, high expenditure on healthcare, and continuous technological advancements are expected to boost regional growth. The U.S. CDC recommends a yearly flu vaccine as the key step to protect against virus and its potential complications. The U.S. CDC formed a cooperative agreement with South-East Asian Region (SEAR) to fund non-research related bilateral influenza as a measure to respond to seasonal, avian, and pandemic influenza. Asia Pacific is expected to show rapid growth in the coming years owing to adoption of novel technologies and growing awareness among individuals. Rising human infection by avian influenza A(H5NI) and prevalence of influenza pandemic are likely to boost regional market growth. Countries, such as India and China, are expected to support regional growth in coming years. Demand of pandemic vaccines has increased in these countries due to seasonal outbreaks.
Some of the leading companies operating in the influenza (flu) vaccine market are Changsheng Bio-Technology Co.; Aleph Biomedical, Sanofi S.A.; Abbott Laboratories; and Changsheng Bio-Technology Co.
For instance, FDS approved VAXELIS vaccine for use in children from 6 weeks through 4 years of age (prior to the 5th birthday). The product is developed under a joint-partnership between Sanofi and MSD, known as Merck in the U.S. and Canada. The vaccine is used as an active immunization to prevent hepatitis B, diphtheria, poliomyelitis, pertussis, tetanus, and invasive disease due to Haemophilus influenzae type b.
Research Support Specialist, USA