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.)
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FDA approves vaccines for the 2011-2012 influenza season [FDA]