Influenza commonly referred as flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza virus. The virus can cause mild to severe illness, resulting in serious outcomes such as hospitalization or death. Geriatric population, pregnant women, and people with chronic health conditions are at high risk of serious flu complications.
Influenza virus is responsible for seasonal epidemic events and are classified into two types of influenza virus, including A and B. The influenza vaccines market is expected to gain significant traction as number of manufacturers are increasing the production capacity of vaccines for use in the U.S. market for the 2017–2018 influenza season using the innovative technologies such as egg-based, cell-based, and recombinant technologies.
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The major factors driving growth of the U.S. influenza vaccines market include rapid advancements in technology for development of new vaccines such as recombinant and cell-based technologies, resulting in increasing production of the vaccines. Influenza flu vaccination have the potential to reduce the risk of flu-associated hospitalization among children and adults. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2015, flu vaccinations prevented an around 1.9 million flu illnesses, 966,000 flu-associated medical visits, and around 67,000 flu-associated hospitalizations, representing 6.5% lowering of disease burden in the U.S.
Also, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID) supports research efforts to improve seasonal flu vaccine strain selection and vaccine effectiveness. However, high cost of manufacturing and complexity of the production process due to inherent variability of the viral strains are the major factors hindering growth of the U.S. influenza vaccines market.
Rising pandemic events is mainly attributed to genetic diversity of influenza viruses with varying patterns and severity. Risk of the onset of a novel pandemic strain has resulted in rise in research and development for production of efficacious influenza vaccines. Pandemic planning is expected to reduce transmission of pandemic virus, which can eventually decrease hospitalizations and deaths, thus minimizing the social and economic impact of pandemic events. According to the World Health Organization, in 2015, around 233 million outpatient visits, 5.2 million hospital admissions, and 7.4 million deaths are expected to manifest if a pandemic event were to occur, globally.
Also, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) provides reimbursement covering 100% of the costs of one seasonal influenza virus vaccinations per influenza season, and it also covers additional seasonal influenza virus vaccinations. Thus, favorable reimbursement is a positive factor to increase adoption rates of influenza vaccines, thus propelling the market growth. However, shortage of vaccine supply due to genetic assortment of the viral strains is surging the need for updating vaccines each year by the manufacturers. This is a major factor restraining market growth.
Additionally, key players in the market are involved in strategic mergers and acquisitions to tackle the problem of vaccine shortage. For instance, in August 2017, Sanofi Pasteur acquired Protein Sciences Corporation, thus adding Flublok product to its portfolio — the only FDA approved recombinant protein-based influenza vaccine. With the acquisition, Sanofi expanded its influenza vaccine portfolio and its presence in the global respiratory vaccines market by exploring the non-egg-based manufacturing technologies. Click To Read More On U.S. Influenza Vaccines Market