TUESDAY, Aug. 14, 2012 (HealthDay News) -- The 2012-13 flu vaccine has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Six companies will produce the vaccine, the agency said in a news release.
The vaccine reflects the three strains predicted to be the most prevalent during the upcoming season:
- A/California/7/2009 (H1N1)-like virus,
- A/Victoria/361/2011 (H3N2)-like virus,
- B/Wisconsin/1/2010-like virus.
While two of the three strains are different from last seasons's inoculation, the H1N1 strain is the same one included in last seasons's vaccine, the FDA said.
Despite the possibility that the three predicted strains may not be the most prevalent in the upcoming season, the agency urged against using that as an excuse not to get the shot.
"The best way to prevent influenza is by getting vaccinated each year... Even if the vaccine and the circulating strains are not an exact match, the vaccine may reduce the severity of the illness or may help prevent influenza-related complications," the FDA said.
The FDA has more about this year's flu vaccine.