FDA Selects Flu Viruses for 2010-11 Vaccine
The 2010-2011 seasonal influenza vaccine in the United States will include a pandemic 2009 H1N1 virus in the composition. Unlike this past year, however, the H1N1 inclusion will not likely limit availability. The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) is recommending the vaccine for everyone 6 months of age and older.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA’s) Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC) met in Bethesda, Md., on Feb. 22, to select the flu viruses for the composition of the flu vaccine for the 2010-2011 flu season.
The committee recommended that vaccines to be used contain:
- an A/California/7/2009 (H1N1)-like virus;
- an A/Perth/16/2009 (H3N2)-like virus; and
- a B/Brisbane/60/2008-like virus.
Compared to the 2009-2010 Northern Hemisphere flu vaccine, the influenza A(H1N1) and A(H3N2) strains are changed. The A/California/7/2009 (H1N1)-like strain is the same as that included in the pandemic influenza A(H1N1) 2009 monovalent vaccines.
On Feb. 24, the ACIP voted to expand seasonal flu immunization to everyone except infants less than 6 months of age. ACIP’s proposal is now being considered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Final recommendations are expected to be posted in June.
Also for the 2010-2011 flu season, a higher dose formulation of an inactivated seasonal flu vaccine, Sanofi Pasteur’s Fluzone High-Dose, will be available for adults 65 and older. Fluzone High-Dose contains four times the amount of influenza antigen compared to other inactivated seasonal flu vaccines.