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2009-2010 Seasonal Influenza Vaccines

The influenza vaccine for the 2009-2010 influenza season is set. Now it's up to you to make sure that you and your loved ones are protected.

Commonly called "the flu," influenza is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses.

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On July 20, 2009, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced the approval of a vaccine for the prevention of flu during the 2009-2010 influenza season in the United States.

Each year, experts from FDA, the World Health Organization (WHO), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and other institutions study influenza virus samples and patterns collected from around the world in an effort to identify the strains that may cause the most illness in the upcoming season.

Those forecasts and the recommendations of FDA’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee enable FDA to determine the three strains that manufacturers should include in their seasonal vaccines for the U.S. population.

Doesn't Protect Against the 2009 (pandemic) H1N1 Influenza Virus

The newly approved influenza vaccine is directed against strains of influenza that were expected to be circulating during the 2009-2010 influenza season, based on information available in February, when a decision regarding the composition of the vaccine was made.

The seasonal flu vaccine will not protect people against the 2009 (pandemic) H1N1 influenza virus, which emerged later in the year and resulted in the declaration of a pandemic by the WHO in June 2009. FDA is working with manufacturers, international partners, and other government agencies to facilitate the availability of a safe and effective vaccine against the 2009 (pandemic) H1N1 influenza virus.

Currently Licensed Seasonal Influenza Vaccines

Although no vaccine is 100 percent effective in preventing disease, vaccination is the key to flu prevention.

The 2009-2010 seasonal influenza vaccine is available for use in the United States and through six brand names and manufacturers:

• Afluria, by CSL Limited
• Fluarix, by GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals
• FluLaval, by ID Biomedical Corp of Quebec.
• Fluvirin, by Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics Limited
• Fluzone, by Sanofi Pasteur Inc.
• FluMist, by MedImmune, LLC

The vaccine for 2009-2010 seasonal influenza contains the following:

• an A/Brisbane/59/2007 (H1N1)-like virus
• an A/Brisbane/10/2007 (H3N2)-like virus
• a B/Brisbane/60/2008-like virus

About Seasonal Influenza

• According to CDC, between 5 and 20 percent of the U.S. population develops seasonal influenza each year. More than 200,000 people are hospitalized from its complications and about 36,000 people die.

• Symptoms of the flu include fever, headache, body aches, chills, extreme exhaustion, and weakness.

• Influenza is spread through coughing or sneezing. You can also get it by touching objects carrying the virus, especially when you then touch your mouth or nose. Such objects include telephones and door knobs.

WebMD Public Information from the FDA