(AP) — The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said Monday it has approved the
new flu vaccine for the season beginning this year.
year the FDA works with other federal agencies and global health experts to
design a vaccine to protect against the three viral strains most likely to
cause the flu. This year’s flu shot will be a duplicate of last year’s because
the same flu strains are still circulating.
vaccine will be manufactured by six companies: GlaxoSmithKline, CSL Limited, ID
Biomedical Corp., Medimmune Vaccines, Novartis and Sanofi.
5 percent and 20 percent of Americans get the flu each year, leading to 200,000
hospitalizations, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
year, the CDC began recommending an annual flu vaccination for everyone except
babies younger than 6 months and those with unusual allergies and medical
conditions. That recommendation helped boost vaccination rates, along with the
appearance in 2009 of swine flu, which was more dangerous than other strains to
plans to buy about 18 million of the 2011-2012 doses, primarily for government
vaccine programs for children.