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Flu vaccine approved for upcoming season.

The influenza vaccine for the 2012-2013 season has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration, the agency has announced.

The three strains that are included are an A/California/7/2009 (H1N1)--like virus, which was included in the 2011-2012 influenza vaccine, and two new strains: an A/Victoria / 361/2011 (H3N2)--like virus, and a B/Wisconsin/1/2010--like virus.

"It is especially important to get vaccinated this year because two of the three virus strains used in this season's influenza vaccines differ from the strains included in last year's vaccines," Dr. Karen Midthun, director of the FDA's Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, said in a statement.

Six manufacturers are licensed to produce and distribute influenza vaccine in the United States. The approved products are Afluria (CSL Limited); Fluarix (GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals); FluLaval (ID Biomedical Corp.); FluMist (MedImmune Vaccines); Fluvirin (Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics Limited); and Fluzone, Fluzone High-Dose, and Fluzone Intradermal (Sanofi Pasteur).

Each year, the selection of strains to be included in the influenza vaccine is based on information about influenza virus circulating worldwide during the previous season and on recommendations from the FDA's Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommends an annual influenza vaccine for everyone aged 6 months and older.
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Author:Mechcatie, Elizabeth
Publication:OB GYN News
Date:Sep 1, 2012
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