How is influenza prevented?

Updated: Aug 07, 2020
  • Author: Hien H Nguyen, MD, MS; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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Prevention of influenza is the most effective management strategy. Influenza A and B vaccine is administered each year before flu season. The CDC analyzes the vaccine subtypes each year and makes any necessary changes on the basis of worldwide trends.

Traditionally, the vaccine is trivalent (ie, designed to provide protection against 3 viral subtypes, generally an A-H1, an A-H3, and a B). The first quadrivalent vaccines, which also provide coverage against a second influenza B subtype, were approved in 2012 and were made available for the 2013-2014 flu season. [5, 6]

The FDA has approved a vaccine for H5N1 influenza. It is available only to government agencies and for stockpiles. [7]

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