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FDA Approves 2009-2010 Seasonal Influenza Vaccine

Vaccine not effective against H1N1 flu, but high-risk populations should be vaccinated

MONDAY, July 20 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved an influenza vaccine for the 2009-2010 season, according to a news release issued July 20 by the FDA.

The vaccine will not protect against the H1N1 flu virus, which led to a World Health Organization pandemic declaration this year. However, efforts to develop an H1N1 vaccine are under way. The 2009-2010 seasonal flu vaccine will contain an A/Brisbane/59/2007 (H1N1)-like virus, an A/Brisbane/10/2007 (H3N2)-like virus, and a B/Brisbane/60/2008-like virus.

The FDA cautions that no vaccine is 100 percent effective, but stresses that vaccination is the best protection against the flu and that high-risk Americans should be vaccinated. Young children, elderly people, and those with chronic medical conditions are at high risk, and it is critical that they be vaccinated.

"The approval of this year's seasonal influenza vaccine is an example of the FDA's important responsibility to assure timely availability of vaccine to help protect the health of the American public," Margaret A. Hamburg, M.D., commissioner of food and drugs at the FDA in Silver Spring, Md., said in a statement. "A new seasonal influenza vaccine each year is a critical tool in protecting public health."

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