The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the influenza vaccine formulation for the 2011-2012 vaccine. The formulation will be used by the six manufacturers licensed to produce and distribute influenza vaccine for the United States.

The 2011-2012 vaccine formulation protects against the three virus strains that surveillance indicates will be most common during the upcoming season and includes the same virus strains used for the 2010-2011 influenza season. The strains selected for the 2011-2012 influenza season are:

  • 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.

“Vaccines to prevent seasonal influenza have a long and successful track record of safety and effectiveness in the United States,” said Karen Midthun, MD, director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research. “It is important to get vaccinated every year, even if the strains in the vaccine do not change, because the protection received the previous year will diminish over time and may be too low to provide protection into the next year.”

The brand names and manufacturers of the vaccines for the upcoming season are: Afluria, CSL Limited; Fluarix, GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals; FluLaval, ID Biomedical Corp; FluMist, MedImmune Vaccines Inc; Fluvirin, Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics Limited; and Fluzone, Fluzone High-Dose, and Fluzone Intradermal, Sanofi Pasteur Inc.

Approved in May, Fluzone Intradermal will be available for those 18 to 64 years of age. Fluzone Intradermal is delivered into the skin, rather than the muscle, using a very small needle.

Source: US Food and Drug Administration