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The FDA Has Approved the Influenza Vaccines for the Upcoming 2010-2011 Flu Season
by admin on: May 4th, 2011

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration posted an announcement on the fda.gov website stating that it has approved the influenza vaccine for the upcoming flu season. As many people are aware, during last year???s flu season, the H1N1 virus (???swine flu???) had emerged as a prominent threat after the pharmacological production of the seasonal vaccine had been approved and begun. Thus, during last flu season, two vaccines were necessary, and two vaccines were produced. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that all people aged six months or older should receive annual flu vaccination.

Before a flu vaccine is produced, the FDA???s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee provides their best ???guess??? as to which viral strains appear to be the most prominent viral strains for a given flu season. Manufacturers begin production of flu vaccines based on this information. The identified viral strains for the 2010???2011 influenza season contain the following three viral strains:

  • A/California/7/2009 (H1N1)-like virus
  • A/Perth/16/2009 (H3N2)-like virus
  • B/Brisbane/60/2008-like virus

The first viral strain, listed above, may appear familiar as this strain was also the pandemic (H1N1) 2009 influenza virus from last year???s flu season.

While the FDA notes that there is always a possibility that there isn???t an exact match between the results from the Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee???s findings, and the predominant ???flu??? for any given flu season, the FDA also notes that it is possible that the severity of a ???flu??? may be reduced based on the viral strains included in the flu vaccine. In fact, the acting director of the FDA???s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research (Karen Midthun, M.D.) stated that vaccinations are the best way for a person to protect oneself and one???s family against influenza. Dr. Midthun also stated that the seasonal vaccine serves an important role in preventing influenza-related illnesses and deaths related to influenza infections.

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