FDA announces vaccines for 2011-2012 flu season

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The United States Food and Drug Administration has approved a vaccine formulation to protect against the 3 strains of the influenza virus that surveillance indicates are most likely to cause illness during the 2011-2012 flu season. It includes the same strains used during the 2010-2011 influenza season.

The United States Food and Drug Administration has approved a vaccine formulation to protect against the 3 strains of the influenza virus that surveillance indicates are most likely to cause illness during the 2011-2012 flu season. It includes the same strains used during the 2010-2011 influenza season.

The virus strains chosen for the 2011-2012 influenza season are A/California/7/09 (H1N1)-like virus (pandemic [H1N1] 2009 influenza virus); A/Perth /16/2009 (H3N2)-like virus; and B/Brisbane/60/2008-like virus. The brand names and manufacturers of the vaccines are: Afluria (CSL Limited), Fluarix (GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals), FluLaval (ID Biomedical Corporation), FluMist (MedImmune Vaccines Inc), Fluvirin (Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics Limited), and Fluzone, Fluzone High-Dose, and Fluzone Intradermal (Sanofi Pasteur Inc.). Fluzone Intradermal, injected into the skin with a very small needle, was approved on May 9, 2011 for patients between the ages of 18 and 64 years.

“It is important to get vaccinated every year, even if the strains in the vaccine do not change, because the protection received the previous year will diminish over time and may be too low to provide protection into the next year,” says Karen Midthun, MD, director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research. The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends annual influenza vaccination for everyone 6 months of age and older; the FDA urges health care organizations to encourage their members to follow ACIP recommendations and be immunized.

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