August 8, 2010
FDA officials have approved vaccines against 3 strains of influenza, including the 2009 H1N1 pandemic swine flu virus, for the 2010-2011 flu season, a report says.
New guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) urged physicians to vaccinate everyone aged 6 months and older, even the low-risk population aged 19 to 49 years, against seasonal influenza.
These flu shots, however, should be changed based on the circulating flu viruses collected from different parts of the world in order to remain effective. Last year, two separate vaccines were used to immunize individuals against seasonal flu and H1N1.
The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommended the change based on evidence that yearly flu shots are a “safe and effective preventive health action with potential benefit in all age groups,” and concerns that a “substantial proportion” of young adults may be susceptible to H1N1-like viruses that continue to circulate.
According to the report recently released by the FDA’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee, the new vaccine protects individuals against 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, believed to be responsible for a large number of infections in the upcoming season.
“The best way to protect yourself and your family against influenza is to get vaccinated every year,” said Karen Midthun, MD, acting director of FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research.
This article was posted: Sunday, August 8, 2010 at 3:40 pm