Flu Vaccine for 2011-12 Season Approved

Protects against strains predicted to be most prevalent

MONDAY, July 18 (HealthDay News) -- The 2011-12 influenza vaccine, containing the three strains predicted most common in the upcoming season, has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Six manufacturers will be licensed to produce the vaccine, which also includes the same viral strains used for the 2010-11 flu season, the agency said in a news release.

The new strains include:

  • A/California/7/09 (H1N1)-like virus (pandemic (H1N1) 2009 influenza virus),
  • A/Perth /16/2009 (H3N2)-like virus,
  • B/Brisbane/60/2008-like virus.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that anyone 6 months and older get the annual vaccine. Each year, about 5 percent to 20 percent of the U.S. population develops flu, leading to more than 200,000 hospitalizations and 3,000 to 49,000 deaths, the FDA said.

While the predicted strains may not match the strains that wind up causing the most illness, the annual shot can still help reduce the respiratory disease's severity and may help prevent complications, the FDA said.

More information

To learn more about flu vaccination, visit the CDC.

Scott Roberts

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