FDA Approves Vaccine for 2011/2012 Influenza Season

Formulation will be used by the six manufacturers licensed to manufacture, distribute in U.S.

TUESDAY, July 19 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced that the agency has approved the influenza vaccine formulation for the 2011/2012 influenza season; this formulation will be used by the six manufacturers licensed to manufacture and distribute the vaccine in the United States.

The new formulation protects against three virus strains that are expected to be most common during this influenza season and includes those used in the 2010/2011 influenza season.

The FDA recommends that both patients and health care professionals get vaccinated. The brand names and manufacturers of the vaccines for the 2011/2012 influenza season include Afluria (CSL Limited); Fluarix (GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals); FluLaval (ID Biomedical Corporation); FluMist (MedImmune Vaccines Inc.); Fluvirin (Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics Limited); and Fluzone, Fluzone High-Dose, and Fluzone Intradermal (Sanofi Pasteur Inc.). Fluzone Intradermal will be available for those aged 18 through 64 years and will be administered through a very small needle into the skin, rather than the muscle.

"Vaccines to prevent seasonal influenza have a long and successful track record of safety and effectiveness in the United States," Karen Midthun, M.D., director of FDA's Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, said in a statement. "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."

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