FDA approves flu vaccine for coming season

August 14, 2012
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

Explore further: FDA approves first 4-in-1 flu vaccine

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

Related Stories

FDA approves first 4-in-1 flu vaccine

February 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.

Four works better than three: An enhanced flu vaccine does the trick

April 4, 2012
An intranasal vaccine that includes four weakened strains of influenza could do a better job in protecting children from the flu than current vaccines, Saint Louis University research shows.

Recommended for you

Baby-boomers and millennials more afflicted by the opioid epidemic

November 21, 2017
Baby-boomers, those born between 1947 and 1964, experienced an excess risk of prescription opioid overdose death and heroin overdose death, according to latest research at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health. ...

Sensor-equipped pill raises technological, ethical questions

November 17, 2017
The first drug with a sensor embedded in a pill that alerts doctors when patients have taken their medications was approved by the Food and Drug Administration, raiding issues involving privacy, cost, and whether patients ...

New painkillers reduce overdose risk

November 16, 2017
Scientists on the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have developed new opioid pain relievers that reduce pain on par with morphine but do not slow or stop breathing—the cause of opiate overdose.

Separating side effects could hold key for safer opioids

November 16, 2017
Opioid pain relievers can be extremely effective in relieving pain, but can carry a high risk of addiction and ultimately overdose when breathing is suppressed and stops. Scientists have discovered a way to separate these ...

US regulators approve first digital pill to track patients

November 14, 2017
U.S. regulators have approved the first drug with a sensor that alerts doctors when the medication has been taken, offering a new way of monitoring patients but also raising privacy concerns.

Introduction is different, but top medications for opioid addiction equally effective

November 14, 2017
With opioid addiction officially declared a public health emergency in the U.S., medical intervention to treat the illness is increasingly important in responding to the epidemic. Now, a new study concludes that two of the ...

1 comment

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.