THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 29, 2016

EU agency issues flu-virus vaccine strain directives for 2015-16

EU recommends seasonal vaccine composition for 2015-16 | Courtesy of worldatlas.com
Health professionals from the European Medicines Agency (EMA) said on Friday that vaccine manufacturers should include influenza virus strains from this flu season in the vaccine for next season.

The European Union bureau's recommendations are formulated from observations by the World Health Organization (WHO). The agency said that the trivalent vaccine for the 2015-16 influenza season must include three specific virus strains: an A/Switzerland/9715293/2013 (H3N2)-like virus, a B/Phuket/3073/2013-like virus and an A/California/7/2009 (H1N1)pdm09-like virus.

Vaccine manufacturers creating quadrivalent influenza vaccines for 2016 must include a B/Brisbane/60/2008-like virus and two influenza B viruses. When the manufacturers think it is most helpful, the aforementioned three influenza strains should also be included.

Live attenuated influenza vaccine manufacturers are included in the directives. Health professionals have postponed the application of appropriate live attenuated influenza vaccines of the A/California/7/2009-like virus until April because they have not yet gathered enough information to determine which strains should be included

Each year, the ad hoc Influenza Working Group uses the observations from the World Health Organization (WHO) to advise the European Union on which strains should be included in seasonal influenza vaccines. Then the recommendations must be approved and endorsed by the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP).

More details about the recommendations and the specific strains of the influenza virus can be found in the Biologics Work Party (BWP) report.

Organizations in this story

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