The Annual Conference on Vaccinology Research (ACVR) brings together healthcare professionals, trainees, and researchers from across the globe to learn about advances in vaccinology. This year the conference sponsor, the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases, held a virtual conference June 18-19, 2020 after the in-person conference was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Kayla Hanson, M.P.H., Epidemiologist, gave an oral presentation titled "Effectiveness of Cell Culture-Based Inactivated Influenza Vaccine against Medically-Attended, Laboratory-Confirmed Influenza in Northcentral Wisconsin, 2018-19". The presentation reviewed findings from two influenza vaccine effectiveness studies being conducted by CCEPH (Center of Clinical Epidemiology and Population Health) staff during the 2018-19 influenza season. Over 2,200 Marshfield Clinic patients with acute respiratory illness were enrolled at several MCHS centers (Marshfield, Wausau/Weston, Chippewa Falls, Eau Claire, Lake Hallie, and Rice Lake) and tested for influenza. They found that cell culture-based inactivated vaccine, which is marketed under the brand name Flucelvax, was effective at preventing influenza A/H1N1pdm09, and protection was similar to that of the standard, egg-based inactivated vaccine. The cell culture-based vaccine was also effective at preventing influenza A/H3N2 in children aged 4-17 years even though circulating A/H3N2 viruses were different from the vaccine virus.

"It was nice to have an opportunity to present our work at the conference," says Kayla Hanson, "but I did miss the opportunity to interact with other vaccine researchers."