Influenza Vaccination Guidelines and Vaccine Sales in Southeast Asia: 2008–2011

Gupta, Vinay; Dawood, Fatimah S.; Muangchana, Charung; Lan, Phan Trong; Xeuatvongsa, Anonh; Sovann, Ly; Olveda, Remigio; Cutter, Jeffery; Oo, Khin Yi; Ratih, Theresia Sandra Diah; Kheong, Chong Chee; Kapella, Bryan K.; Kitsutani, Paul; Corwin, Andrew; Olsen, Sonja J.


Southeast Asia is a region with great potential for the emergence of a pandemic influenza virus. Global efforts to improve influenza surveillance in this region have documented the burden and seasonality of influenza viruses and have informed influenza prevention strategies, but little information exists about influenza vaccination guidelines and vaccine sales.


To ascertain the existence of influenza vaccine guidelines and define the scope of vaccine sales, we sent a standard three-page questionnaire to the ten member nations of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. We also surveyed three multinational manufacturers who supply influenza vaccines in the region.


Vaccine sales in the private sector were <1000 per 100,000 population in the 10 countries. Five countries reported purchasing vaccine for use in the public sector. In 2011, Thailand had the highest combined reported rate of vaccine sales (10,333 per 100,000). In the 10 countries combined, the rate of private sector sales during 2010–2011 (after the A(H1N1)2009pdm pandemic) exceeded 2008 pre-pandemic levels. Five countries (Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam) had guidelines for influenza vaccination but only two were consistent with global guidelines. Four recommended vaccination for health care workers, four for elderly persons, three for young children, three for persons with underlying disease, and two for pregnant women.


The rate of vaccine sales in Southeast Asia remains low, but there was a positive impact in sales after the A(H1N1)2009pdm pandemic. Low adherence to global vaccine guidelines suggests that more work is needed in the policy arena.

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College of Physicians and Surgeons
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June 16, 2017