Monday, March 1, 2010

2009 H1N1 flu strain will be in next season flu vaccine

Model of H5N1 virusImage via Wikipedia

The 2009 H1N1 flu virus, which has been circulating since last spring, sickened millions and killed at least 15,000 people worldwide, will be included in the next seasonal flu vaccine when it becomes available in the fall, health experts in the United States decided Monday.

Every February, the Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee advises the Food and Drug Administration on which flu strains to include in the next flu shot or spray.

- an "A California viru," which is the pandemic virus H1N1 virus that caused so much illness in the past 10 months;
- an "A Perth virus," which is an H3N2 virus
- a "B Brisbane virus."

The CDC also estimates between 183,000 and 378,000 people were hospitalized and between 8,330 and 17,160 people died

For those concerned about getting the flu now, the CDC continues to recommend getting the separate H1N1 vaccine which is now widely available.

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