HCPLive Network

Flu Vaccine Approved

The FDA announced last week that it had approved the formulation of the 2011-2012 influenza vaccine for the six manufacturers that are licensed to produce and distribute it in the US.
 
Each year, the vaccine contains the three virus strains determined to be those likely to cause the most illness during the upcoming flu season. This year’s vaccine includes the same three strains as last year’s, though those who received the vaccine last year should not be tempted to skip this year’s.
 
“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,” said Karen Midthun, MD, director of FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, in a press release.
 
The brand names and manufacturers of vaccine for the upcoming flu season 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 is delivered via a very small needle into the skin rather than muscle and is available for those aged 18 to 64.)
 
Around the Web
 
FDA approves vaccines for the 2011-2012 influenza season [FDA] 


Further Reading
In this segment, Dr. Peter Salgo asks Dr. Alfred Deluca to "talk about some of the assurances about Ebola we’ve heard from public health officials, versus some of the truths as you see it."
In this segment, Dr. Peter Salgo talks about the potential for an Ebola vaccine to be developed in the near future, and Dr. Alfred Deluca discusses ongoing efforts to increase awareness and preparedness among hospital staff.
By some estimates, the number of cases of Ebola in an area can double as quickly as every 2 weeks.
Turning to the topic of Ebola risk in the United States, Dr. Peter Salgo says that people here are obviously concerned, especially those in the health care field.
In this final segment of "HCPLive Practice Brief: A Focus on Ebola for Practitioners," Dr. Peter Salgo and Dr. Alfred Deluca talk about "damping down the panic" surrounding Ebola while also communicating the potential severity of this disease.
One specific criticism leveled at the CDC is that it did not ask fast enough after the first Ebola case appeared in Dallas. Are we now taking adequate measures to defend the public health, or should we taking additional preventive action, like banning travel from affected nations in Africa?
Ebola is a virus that has been studied, but there is clearly more that we’re learning about it daily. What are some of the unknowns about Ebola that we need to know that might have an impact on the safety of Americans?
More Reading