From US News, Health Day
MONDAY, July 18 (HealthDay News) — Influenza may be far from most Americans’ thoughts as much of the nation wilts under oppressive heat, but the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said Monday that it’s already preparing for the 2011-12 flu season.
The FDA said it has approved the vaccine formulation for the upcoming season, and six manufacturers have been chosen to produce and distribute the vaccines for the United States.
“Vaccines to prevent seasonal influenza have a long and successful track record of safety and effectiveness in the United States,” Dr. Karen Midthun, director of FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, said in an agency news release. “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 2011-12 vaccine formulation is designed to protect against the three virus strains that scientists believe will be most prevalent during the coming flu season. It also includes the same virus strains used for the 2010-11 season.
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