FDA Approves the Seasonal Flu Vaccine
The FDA approved the ordinary seasonal flu vaccine on Monday and stated that Americans should plan to get vaccinated. Vaccines against seasonal flu usually become available in September or October and flu experts say it is worthwhile to be immunized as late as January, since the U.S. influenza season usually peaks in February.
This year will be different since the new H1NI swine flu virus has been circulating and companies are working to make a separate vaccine against the pandemic strain. In a statement released by the FDA, they stated, “The seasonal influenza vaccine will not protect against the 2009 H1N1 influenza virus that resulted in the declaration of a pandemic by the World Health Organization on June 11, 2009.” The FDA further stated that, “Although this year’s seasonal vaccine is directed against other strains of influenza expected to be circulating and will not provide protection against the 2009 H1N1 influenza virus, it is still important for those Americans for whom it is recommended to receive the seasonal influenza vaccine.”
According to the United States government, between 5 and 20 percent of the United States population develops influenza each year. More than 200,000 are hospitalized from its complications and about 36,000 people die. Six companies manufacture the seasonal flu vaccine for the United States: GlaxoSmithKline Plc, ID Biomedical Corp, Novartis AG, Sanofi-Aventis SA, AstraZeneca, and CSL Ltd.
For more information see: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/32010750/ns/health-cold_and_flu/