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Seasonal Flu Vaccine Approved

But it won't protect against swine flu

MONDAY, July 20, 2009 (HealthDay News) -- The vaccine for 2009-2010 seasonal influenza has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the agency said Monday.

Every year, experts from the FDA, World Health Organization (WHO) and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) evaluate the prevalent strains of flu and decide which three are most likely to infect people during the upcoming season. Those strains are included in the seasonal vaccine.

This year's inoculation, the FDA stressed, won't protect against the H1N1 swine flu, which was declared pandemic by the WHO last month. Scientists and manufacturers are working on a separate vaccine for swine flu, the agency said in a news release.

This year's seasonal flu vaccine, to be produced by six manufacturers, will protect against these strains:

  • an A/Brisbane/59/2007 (H1N1)-like virus
  • an A/Brisbane/10/2007 (H3N2)-like virus
  • a B/Brisbane/60/2008-like virus

Between 5 percent and 20 percent of the U.S. population contract the flu each year, the CDC says. More than 200,000 people are hospitalized, and about 36,000 die from it. The elderly, very young and people with chronic health problems are at greatest risk of flu's complications, the FDA said.

More information

The FDA has more about flu.

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