For the next year’s flu season, the annual flu vaccine has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to protect against three strains of influenza, including the 2009 H1N1 pandemic swine flu strain. The H1N1 or swine flu led to the first flu pandemic last year in more than 40 years and so the health officials has approved H1N1 flu vaccines to protect against most of the known H1N1 strains.
In the US, nearly 20% of the population suffers some form of influenza each year that leads to more than 200,000 hospitalizations and 36,000 deaths, according to guesstimates from the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Swine flu evicted to be less deadly than first feared, with about 12,000 deaths.
Each year, the flu virus samples are analyzed by experts from the World Health Organization, the FDA, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other institutions. And, then patterns collected worldwide in order to determine which strains are most likely to cause illness during the upcoming season.
Two separate doses of vaccines were required last season to protect against seasonal flu and the 2009 H1N1 virus as the 2009 H1N1 virus emerged after production had started on last year’s seasonal flu vaccine. However, the FDA said that people will require only one vaccine current year. Typically, it takes six months for flu shots to become available.
For the 2010-11 flu season, the vaccines contain the following strains:
- B/Brisbane/60/2008-like virus
- A/Perth/16/2009 (H3N2)-like virus
- A/California/7/09 (H1N1)-like virus (pandemic (H1N1) 2009 influenza virus)
The FDA said, there is always a chance that viral strains other than those predicted to circulate will cause the most illnesses in a flu season. The vaccine may help to decrease the severity of the illness or help to stop flu-related complications even if there’s not an exact match between the vaccine and the circulating virus strains.
Dr. Karen Midthun, acting director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, said in an agency news release, “The best way to protect yourself and your family against influenza is to get vaccinated every year. The availability of a new seasonal influenza vaccine each year is an important tool in the prevention of influenza-related illness and death.”
The brand names of vaccines for the upcoming flu season includes: Afluria, Agriflu, Fluarix, FluLaval, FluMist, Fluvirin, Fluzone, and Fluzone High-Dose. includes: Afluria by CSL Limited; Agriflu and Fluvirin from Novartis; GlaxoSmithKline’s Fluarix; FluLaval, manufactured by the ID Biomedical Corporation; FluMist, from MedImmune; and Fluzone and Fluzone High-Dose from Sanofi-Pasteur.
Officials at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reminded Americans in a separate news release that the agency stretched its 2010-11 influenza vaccination recommendations in a vote early this year.
Previous guidelines had focused on vaccinating the subset of the certain high-risk groups, such as children and people with underlying health conditions and at risk for serious complications resulting from influenza and those likely to come into contact with these high-risk groups. However, for the next flu season the FDA recommends that all people over 6 months of age or older get the annual flu vaccine.
Flu Vaccine for the 2010-2011 Season video from Youtube:
New H1N1 Vaccine FluLaval Released by FDA, Shipped Early video from Youtube: