U.S Food and Drug Administration has approved influenza vaccine for the year 2012-2013. Every year different organizations like World Health Organization (WHO), Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) study influenza virus and its strain likely to cause illness during the upcoming flu season.
Different strains selected for the preparation of vaccine against new type influenza virus for the year 2012-2013 include
- A/California/7/2009 (H1N1)-like virus
- A/Victoria/361/2011 (H3N2)-like virus
- B/Wisconsin/1/2010-like virus.
The H1N1 virus is the same as was included in the year 2011-2012 and difference has been made in this year’s influenza H3N2 and B viruses from those in the year 2011-2012 influenza virus vaccine. According to the WHO “Influenza is a viral infection that affects mainly the nose, throat, bronchi and, occasionally, lungs. Infection usually lasts for about a week, and is characterized by sudden onset of high fever, aching muscles, headache and severe malaise, non-productive cough, sore throat and rhinitis”.
This vaccination will provide protection against three different types of influenza virus strains.
“The best way to prevent influenza is by getting vaccinated each year,” said Karen Midthun, M.D., director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research. “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.”
According to CDC, in US population approximately 5% to 20% persons are being affected from influenza virus each year and it leads to 200,000 hospitalizations. Influenza could be a very severe and unpredictable disease and may cause death of 3,000 to a high of 49,000 people in US during the influenza season.
The manufacturers licensed to produce the nation’s 2012-2013 flu vaccines and the brand names of the vaccines for the upcoming flu season are:
- Afluria, manufactured by CSL Limited;
- Fluarix, manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals;
- FluLaval, manufactured by ID Biomedical Corporation;
- FluMist, manufactured by MedImmune Vaccines Inc.;
- Fluvirin, manufactured by Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics Limited; and
- Fluzone, Fluzone High-Dose and Fluzone Intradermal, manufactured by Sanofi Pasteur.
Reference: FDA Consumer Update
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