Influenza themes

Many unanswered questions remain about how to best measure, control and communicate what we know about influenza. NCCID and its partners asked public health stakeholders — what are the priorities and what types of knowledge projects are most useful? The themes and questions most often mentioned were:

  • Vaccine effectiveness How effective are influenza vaccines and for whom? What measures of effectiveness are useful? How do measures of effectiveness account for more serious outcomes and distinguish groups at risk and disadvantaged populations?
  • Primary prevention What do we know about the effectiveness, cost-effectiveness and feasibility of non-pharmacological prevention measures for influenza—including environmental controls and school closures?
  • Rapid diagnostics What is the state of knowledge on rapid diagnostic tests? How effective, cost-effective reliable and logistically feasible are these tests?
  • Surveillance & burden of illness How can we improve Canada’s surveillance system to provide timely information that provides a useful basis for policy advice? How do we understand the burden of influenza and prioritize when and where to intervene
  • Communication & messaging What strategies and health messages are effective for informing key audiences about influenza or influenza vaccine? What is the value of social media for such strategies?
  • Equity How can we ensure that equitable delivery of programs and services remains central to public health strategies addressing influenza?