Flu Shot: Better Luck Next Year

FDA includes new strains in formula
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 22, 2008 4:04 AM CST
Flu Shot: Better Luck Next Year
A woman gets a flu shot as part of a national vaccination campaign against Influenza in San Jose, Monday, Feb. 18, 2008. (AP Photo/Kent Gilbert)   (Associated Press)

Next year's influenza vaccine will be reformulated to include three new flu strains in the hope of developing a more potent vaccine than this year's effort, according to US News & World Report. An FDA panel approved the move, following the lead of the World Health Organization. This year's vaccine failed to combat the disease in most states because many of the infections have been caused by two strains not matched by the current flu shot.

Typically, vaccines include only one or two influenza strains. Some of the flu cases have also proved resistant to antiviral medication. "Clearly, there is influenza going around in a lot of states," said an infectious disease expert. "This is not the most effective vaccine that we've had." Despite the shortcomings, the US Centers for Disease Control still recommends people receive the vaccination because it provides some protection. (Read more vaccine stories.)

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