FDA approves flu vaccine for coming season

FDA approves flu vaccine for coming season
Two of the three strains picked weren't in last year's shot, experts note.

(HealthDay) -- The formulation for the vaccine that will help protect against the flu this coming season was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Monday.

"The best way to prevent influenza is by getting vaccinated each year," Dr. Karen Midthun, director of the FDA's Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, said in a statement. "It is especially important to get vaccinated this year because two of the three used in this season's influenza vaccines differ from the strains included in last year's vaccines."

Experts from the FDA, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the , along with other , study global flu infection patterns to try to predict which strains of the virus are most likely to make people ill in the coming . Sometimes there is a mismatch between the strains in the vaccine and the strains that wind up infecting most people each season, but officials noted that even then the vaccine can lessen the severity of illnesses.

Six vaccine makers are licensed to provide the in the United States, and the 2012-2013 vaccine will include the following strains: A/California/7/2009 (H1N1)-like virus; A/Victoria/361/2011 (H3N2)-like virus; and B/Wisconsin/1/2012-like virus. The H1N1 virus is the same as the one included in last year's vaccine, while the other two differ from the strains used in the 2011-2012 vaccine, according to an FDA news release.

Between 5 percent and 20 percent of the U.S. population develops influenza each year, resulting in more than 200,000 hospitalizations from related complications. Influenza seasons can vary widely, with annual influenza-related deaths ranging from a low of about 3,000 to a high of about 49,000 people in the United States, the news release stated. The CDC recommends that everyone 6 months of age and older receive an annual .

The companies producing the 2012-2013 flu vaccines and the brand names of the vaccines are:

  • Afluria, manufactured by CSL Ltd.
  • Fluarix, manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals
  • FluLaval, manufactured by ID Biomedical Corp.
  • FluMist, manufactured by MedImmune Vaccines Inc.
  • Fluvirin, manufactured by Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics Ltd.
  • Fluzone, Fluzone High-Dose and Fluzone Intradermal, manufactured by Sanofi Pasteur

More information: To prepare for the coming flu season, go to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

FDA approves first 4-in-1 flu vaccine

Feb 29, 2012

Federal health officials have approved the first vaccine that protects against four strains of the common flu, offering one additional layer of protection against the influenza virus that affects millions each year.

Recommended for you

Have a cold? Don't ask your doctor for antibiotics

Nov 26, 2014

Antibiotic resistance is a major threat to public health. Resistance makes it harder for physicians to treat infections and can increase the chance patients will die from an infection. What is more, the treatment ...

Powdered measles vaccine found safe in early clinical trials

Nov 25, 2014

A measles vaccine made of fine dry powder and delivered with a puff of air triggered no adverse side effects in early human testing and it is likely effective, according to a paper to be published November 28 in the journal ...

User comments

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Tangent2
not rated yet Aug 14, 2012
For anyone interested in reading up on what exactly doctors know/need to know about vaccines that they push, take a look here at this revealing article:

http://fathernatu...#pid4785

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.