FDA panel recommends strains for 2013-2014 flu vaccine

March 13, 2013

FDA’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC) recently held a

FDA’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC) recently held a meeting to make recommendations for the composition of the 2013-2014 influenza vaccine. The panel determined the new trivalent vaccine will retain a current strain but 2 other strains will be replaced.

The VRBPAC recommended that trivalent vaccines for the upcoming flu season contain an A/California/7/2009 (H1N1)pdm-09-like virus, the same vaccine strain found in this current season’s vaccine. The panel, however, recommended replacing the current A/Victoria/361/2011(H3N2)-like virus with a similar strain, A/Texas/50/2012, and replacing the current B/Wisconsin/1/2010-like virus with a B/Massachusetts/2/2012-like virus.

A quadrivalent vaccine will be available for the upcoming season. The VRBPAC recommended using the same three virus strains mentioned above in addition to a B/Brisbane/60/2008-like virus.

These recommendations match those made by the World Health Organization for the northern hemisphere vaccines.

For week 9 of the current flu season (ending March 2), flu activity remained elevated in the United States but decreased in most areas, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s FluView report.