The 32nd European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (ECCMID) is being held in Lisbon, Portugal from the 23rd to the 26th of April. ECCMID 2022 is being run as a hybrid conference with onsite sessions also being accessible remotely. The conference has historically drawn over 14,000 participants with both academic and industry representation. The virtual conference features symposiums, scientific presentations, posters and an in-person exhibition hall.
Symposium: Past, present and future of pandemics: preparedness and first defence
Nicola Petrosillo | Campus Bio-Medico University Hospital
→ Reduced circulation and low influenza vaccine coverage has made the population more susceptible to influenza viruses nowadays.
→ As COVID-19 restrictions ease across many countries, SARS-COV-2 will circulate with other respiratory viruses, increasing the risk of coinfection, which is suggested to be more fatal than mono-infection.
→ During this phase of the COVID-19 pandemic, influenza pandemic preparedness planning and vaccination is essential.
→ During Q&A, competition between COVID-19 and influenza viruses, combination vaccines and seasonality were discussed. Regarding combination vaccines, Petrosillo explained that they will allow for better coverage, but individuals who are convinced COVID-19 vaccination is important, will also likely vaccinate against influenza. A combination vaccine is yet to be approved but will be a nice to have. Petrosillo stated he would like to see a vaccine against COVID-19 variants before this.
Janssen and Sanofi hosted symposia today on the topics of RSV in older adults and influenza vaccination, respectively. These two sessions were the last of the integrated symposia relevant to influenza/RSV at ECCMID 2022. Overall, the integrated symposia at ECCMID2022 have largely been reflective of the company's late-stage candidates or regulatory activities that are being pushed.
Janssen hosted a sponsored symposium with the topic of RSV in older adults. RSV in the elderly is much less well-studied than RSV in children both academically and with less routine testing at the public health level. Janssen’s RSV vaccine is in phase III for older adults and the company is likely trying to raise awareness of the burden of RSV in the elderly as well as build the case for RSV vaccination of this population. The session was well attended and benefitted from an extensive Q&A session at the end, taking questions from both the in-person and online audience.
Sanofi hosted a sponsored symposium with the topic of influenza vaccination and protection beyond flu. The evidence for vaccination against influenza has been well studied over the years, however more evidence has been published highlighting the additional benefits of vaccination, including reduced risk of acute myocardial infarction, stroke, and disability, especially in the older adult population. Sanofi is currently lobbying the CDC for preferential recommendation of their differentiated high-dose flu vaccine, Fluzone-HD, for the elderly population. The company is likely raising awareness for influenza vaccine benefits at today’s symposium in support of the use of differentiated vaccines. The symposium was well-attended and benefitted from an extensive Q&A session at the end, taking questions from the panel, in-person and online audiences.
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