Plans laid for next year's flu vaccine

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted May 16, 2005

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Government committees have selected the strains to be included in next year's flu vaccine and recommended strategies for allocating the supply, according to several statements issued last month.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is recommending that physicians place two pre-booking orders, according to the April 1 Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. The first order should request supplies to provide vaccine only for those in priority groups, and this request would be filled if supplies are limited. The second order would be for these doses plus shots for those who are not regarded as high priority but still want them. This one would be filled if supplies are ample. Also, health care workers who are not caring for severely immunocompromised patients are being encouraged to use the live, attenuated influenza vaccine.

Officials monitoring the situation believe that at least 61 million doses of injectible and nasal vaccine will be available from sanofi pasteur and MedImmune, although more doses could be available from Chiron or other companies currently seeking Food and Drug Administration approval.

The Food and Drug Administration's Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee also recommended in mid-April that next season's vaccine include antigens that provide protection against A/New Caledonia/20/99 (H1N1)-like, A/California/7/2004 (H3N2)-like and B/Shanghai/361/2002-like viruses.

Note: This item originally appeared at

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