WHO recommends Northern Hemisphere flu formulation

flu virus in pink

The World Health Organisation has announced its recommended formulation for influenza vaccines to be used in the Northern Hemisphere winter 2016-17.

The periodic replacement of virus strains contained in influenza vaccine is necessary because of the constant evolution of influenza viruses, which can change their antigenic and genetic characteristics.

The WHO recommendation on the composition of influenza virus vaccines for use in the northern hemisphere 2016-2017 was announced in a WHO Information Meeting and Round-table Discussion with manufacturers and regulatory agencies; following a three-day WHO Consultation with advisers based on year-round surveillance by the WHO Global Influenza Surveillance and Response System.

It is recommended that trivalent vaccines for use in the 2016-2017 northern hemisphere influenza season contain the following:

  • A/California/7/2009 (H1N1)pdm09-like virus;
  • A/Hong Kong/4801/2014 (H3N2)-like virus; and
  • a B/Brisbane/60/2008-like virus.

It is recommended that quadrivalent vaccines for use in the 2016-2017 northern hemisphere influenza season containing two influenza B viruses contain the above three viruses and:

  • B/Phuket/3073/2013-like virus.


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