FDA Committee Votes To Include Fujian Strain in Influenza Vaccine Next Season
An FDA committee on Thursday voted to include the A/Fujian flu strain, which caused most of the season's U.S. and European flu cases, in next season's influenza vaccination, the AP/Newport News Daily Press reports (AP/Newport News Daily Press, 2/19). The decision follows the World Health Organization's recommendation last week to replace the A/Moscow strain with the A/Fujian strain. FDA voted to follow WHO's recommendation and include the A/New Caledonia strain in next season's vaccine (Altman, New York Times, 2/18). In addition, the FDA committee tentatively voted to follow WHO's recommendation to replace the B/Hong Kong strain with the B/Shanghai strain. Although the B/Hong Kong strain accounted for fewer than 10% of this season's flu cases, FDA advisers were "reluctant" to replace the strain because "leaving it out could leave patients vulnerable next year to a resurgence of B strain virus," Reuters reports. The panel will make a final decision on the matter by March 17. The flu vaccine is reformulated every year to keep up with the mutating strains of the flu virus (Reuters, 2/20).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.