Flu Vaccines for 2011-2012 Season Receive FDA Approval

Martha Kerr

July 18, 2011

July 18, 2011 — The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a trivalent formulation for the influenza vaccine for the 2011 to 2012 influenza season, the agency announced today.

On the basis of advice from experts from the FDA's Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee, the World Health Organization, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and others in the public health community who have studied virus samples and patterns of infection, the FDA has identified the virus strains most likely to cause the most illness during the upcoming influenza season.

The strains selected for the 2011 to 2012 influenza seasonal vaccine include:

  • A/California/7/09 (H1N1)-like virus (pandemic (H1N1) 2009 influenza virus),

  • A/Perth/16/2009 (H3N2)-like virus, and

  • B/Brisbane/60/2008-like virus.

The brand names and manufacturers of the vaccines for the upcoming 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, approved on May 9, 2011, will be available for those aged 18 through 64 years.

In a news release, the FDA states, "There is always a possibility of a less than optimal match between the virus strains predicted to circulate and the virus strains that end up causing the most illness. However, even if the vaccine and the circulating strains are not an exact match, the vaccine may reduce the severity of the illness or may help prevent influenza-related complications."

The CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommends that everyone 6 months of age and older receive an annual influenza vaccination. Additional information on the committee's recommendations can be found on the CDC's Web site.

Persons aged 65 years and older, infants, pregnant women, and people of any age with certain chronic medical conditions are at high risk for complications, the CDC notes. These people, their household and close contacts, and all healthcare personnel should "be a primary focus for vaccination efforts as providers and programs transition to routinely vaccinating all people 6 months of age and older."

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