2017 flu vaccine strains announced

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The flu viruses to be included in the 2017 Australian vaccine have now been announced.

The Australian Influenza Vaccine Committee with the TGA in Canberra to recommend influenza viruses to be used in the composition of the influenza vaccines for 2017.

During this meeting, the expert committee reviewed and evaluated data related to epidemiology, antigenic and genetic characteristics of recent influenza isolates circulating in Australia and the Southern Hemisphere, serological responses to 2015-2016 vaccines, and the availability of candidate vaccines viruses and reagents.

The committee recommended that the TGA should adopt the September 2016 WHO recommendations:

  • the trivalent influenza vaccine components for the Australian 2017 influenza season should contain the following:
    • A (H1N1): an A/Michigan/45/2015 (H1N1)pdm09 like virus
    • A (H3N2): an A/Hong Kong/4801/2014 (H3N2) like virus
    • B: a B/Brisbane/60/2008 like virus
  • the quadrivalent influenza vaccine for the Australian 2017 influenza season should contain the trivalent influenza vaccine components listed above, and the additional B strain:
    • B: a B/Phuket/3073/2013 like virus.

The AIVC recommendation for the composition of influenza vaccines for Australia in 2017 introduces a new A (H1N1)pdm09 like virus strain when compared to the composition of the trivalent and quadrivalent vaccines for Australia in 2016.

The TGA has accepted the recommendations of the AIVC.

H1N1 viruses were predominant late in the US’ 2015-6 flu season, the Centers for Disease Control reported. H3N2 predominated early on.

The CDC also reported a milder season than the previous three flu seasons.

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