Influenza in temperate and tropical Asia: a review of epidemiology and vaccinology

The impact of seasonal influenza has been under-appreciated in Asia and surveillance data lags in most other regions. The variety of influenza circulation patterns in Asia - largely due to the range of climates - has also only recently been recognized and its effect on the burden of disease is not fully understood. Recent reports that clinical protection wanes in the weeks after influenza vaccination emphasize the importance of optimally timing vaccination to local epidemiology. It also raises questions as to whether influenza vaccines should be administered more frequently than annually and what may be the benefits in Asia of access to new vaccines with enhanced immunogenicity and effectiveness. This review will summarize influenza surveillance data from Asian countries over 2011-2018, and consider the implications for vaccination strategies in different parts of Asia.