Flu season is round the corner. New vaccine stock is available in India


What is new in 2016-17 Influenza virus vaccines?

Composition of flu vaccine is different than last year. Only one strain is same and the other two are different. Vaccine strains are updated to match the circulating viruses each year. The WHO recommendation on vaccine composition is based on the year-round work of the WHO Global Influenza Surveillance and Response System (GISRS).

No nasal spray vaccines are recommended due to less effectiveness. Only injectable flu shots this year according to cdc are recommended.

Trivalent vaccines for use in northern hemisphere influenza season contain the following:

– an A/California/7/2009 (H1N1)pdm09-like virus;

– an A/Hong Kong/4801/2014 (H3N2)-like virus;

– a B/Brisbane/60/2008-like virus.

Flu vaccine strains are egg grown and even after purification of surface antigens, may contain egg constituents. People with egg allergy were not advised to get flu shots earlier. But, CDC (Center of Diseases Control and prevention) has changed the recommendations for vaccination of people with egg allergies in the light of  benefits of vaccine. Mild allergy symptoms (hives) to egg and even extreme allergy symptoms like angioedema, respiratory distress, lightheadedness, etc. which may require emergency medical help should not stop a person from getting the flu shot, if needed as per the susceptibility to the risk of Influenza in them.

Imported Flu Vaccines available in India are Influvac (Abott, Netherlands), Vaxigrip (Sanofi, France), Influgen, Zuviflu and Lupienza (China).