Current developments

  • Today's ageing population means that more people will be eligible for influenza vaccination every year, so the programme will become more expensive.
  • European research is being carried out into the number of children who suffer influenza-related complications and are hospitalized, how many die, and what their vaccination costs would be, in order to assess whether it would be useful to vaccinate healthy children against influenza. Only six countries in Europe recommend annual seasonal influenza vaccination for children between 6 months and 2 or 3 years old. Only Finland has added influenza vaccination to the routine childhood vaccination programme (since the 2007-8 influenza season). In the US, influenza vaccination is recommended for all children below the age of 18 and older than 6 months. The research is being coordinated by the Netherlands Institute for Health Services Research (Nederlands Instituut voor onderzoek van de gezondheidszorg, NIVEL).
  • Much research is being done into further improving influenza vaccines (e.g. by adding adjuvants or by developing inhalation vaccines) so that they generate a better immune response; to optimizing the production process (cell culture instead of virus culture in chicken eggs); and to simplifying administration (needle-free or intradermal injection).
  • As of 2019, a quadrivalent vaccine is used in the influenza prevention program. 
  • As of 2020,  elderly people, born between 1941 and 1947, will also be offered a pneumococcal vaccination The two vaccinations follow the same process, however, with partly different target groups. For more information about pneumococcal vaccination in elderly see For whom is the pneumococcal vaccine?