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
How a massive operation of medical countermeasures was mobilized to tackle the ever-present threat of influenza in the US and overseas.
Recommendations for routine use of seasonal influenza vaccine in children have been updated, according to an American Academy of Pediatrics policy statement published online Sept. 2 in Pediatrics
Updated National Vaccine Plan will provide policy and scientific direction designed to prevent infectious diseases and reduce adverse reactions to vaccines.
Although the influenza vaccine is recommended for all children aged 6 months and older, less than 45 percent of young children are fully vaccinated and the health care burden of influenza is considerable, according to a study published online Jan. 6 in Pediatrics.
Flu season descended on the United States early and hard this winter, with significant increases in flu activity observed over the past month, according to an update issued Jan. 4 by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Larry Pickering, MD, described immunization as a great public health triumph and talked of how the US maintains high vaccination rates.
The immunogenicity of 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine is not significantly different for most serotypes when administered according to four different primary immunization schedules, according to a study published in the Sept. 4 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.
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