Sunday, March 10, 2013

FDA Panel Recommends 2013-2014 Flu Vaccine Strains

The composition of the influenza vaccine for the 2013-2014 influenza season in the United States should be slightly different from that for the 2012-2013 season, the Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recommended.

After a meeting held February 27, the committee recommended that trivalent vaccines for the 2013-2014 season retain current vaccine strain A/California/7/2009pdm09-like (2009 H1N1) virus.

The committee also recommended replacing current vaccine strain A/Victoria/361/2011 (H3N2)-like virus with an A(H3N2) virus antigenically similar to the cell-propagated prototype virus A/Victoria/361/2011 (A/Texas/50/2012) and replacing current vaccine strain B/Wisconsin/1/2010-like virus with a B/Massachusetts/2/2012-like (B/Yamagata lineage) virus.

The committee also recommended that quadrivalent vaccines, which are expected to be available for the upcoming season, contain a B/Brisbane/60/2008-like (B/Victoria lineage) virus in addition to the viruses recommended for the trivalent vaccines.

These recommendations are based on "global influenza virus surveillance data related to epidemiology and antigenic characteristics, serological responses to 2012-2013 seasonal vaccines, and the availability of candidate strains and reagents," the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes on its Web site.

The recommendations of the FDA committee match those made by the World Health Organization for the northern hemisphere influenza vaccines.


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