Southern Hemisphere Recommended Strains
The following is a list of WHO recommended strains for the southern hemisphere influenza season.
|SH winter season|
|A/California/7/2009 pdm09-like virus||A/Perth/16/2009 -like virus|
|A/Texas/50/2012 -like virus||B/Brisbane/60/2008-like virus|
|2021 cell- or recombinant-based Vaccines||A/Wisconsin/588/2019 pdm09-like virus|
|2022-2023 cell- or recombinant-based vaccines||A/Wisconsin/588/2019 pdm09-like virus|
How Long Did It Take To Develop The Flu Vaccine
- The first flu vaccine was licensed for civilian use in the U.S. in 1945.
- Dr. Jonas Salk was one of the lead researchers.
- Nearly 200 million doses of vaccine were expected to be manufactured this flu season.
The 1918 influenza pandemic infected an estimated 500 million people worldwide and left 675,000 people dead in the United States, according to the CDC.
But it wasn’t until 1945 – nearly three decades later – that the first flu vaccine was licensed for civilian use in the U.S.
In contrast, an effective and safe COVID-19 vaccine was developed in less than a year. Historically, vaccines have taken years to make it to distribution.
The first-ever vaccine to be developed was for smallpox in 1796, according to the World Health Organization.
Today, vaccines are available for more than two dozen diseases. Many of the shots, like those for measles and chickenpox, are considered routine.
Scientists dedicate their entire careers to researching vaccines. Dr. Jonas Salk, famous for creating the polio vaccine in the 1950s, was one of the lead researchers on the flu vaccine a decade earlier. Before Salk died at age 80 in 1995, he worked on a vaccine for HIV, which still hasn’t come to fruition.
Since Salk’s early work on the flu vaccine, it’s become one of the most common shots given.
Here’s a look back at some of the key moments in the history of influenza and the flu vaccine, based on a timeline from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
The Vaccine Everyone Was Waiting For Polio Vaccine
Parents were scared of the polio epidemics that occurred each summer they kept their children away from swimming pools, sent them to stay with relatives in the country, and clamored for an understanding of the spread of polio. They waited for a vaccine, closely following vaccine trials and sending dimes to the White House to help the cause. When the polio vaccine was licensed in 1955, the country celebrated, and Jonas Salk, its inventor, became an overnight hero.
Late 1950s | Recommended Vaccines
* Given in combination as DTP
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When Flu Hit The Us A Vaccine Was Ready
Researchers study the flu virus in a lab at Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, 1957.
When the new flu strain hit the United States in September, just as Hilleman had predicted it would, the country was ready with a vaccine. The virus, dubbed the Asian flu, killed an estimated 70,000 to 116,000 Americans and one to four million people worldwide, but experts suggest it would have killed many more if not for the vaccine. Around the time Hilleman was born, the Spanish flu of 1918 to 1919 killed an estimated 675,000 Americans and 50 million people worldwide.
Thats the tricky thing about public health, says Alexandra Lord, chair of the division of medicine and science at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C.
When things go really, really well, its very hard to say, this many lives were saved, because we dont know what wouldve happened without it, she says. And so while its impossible for us to say how many lives exactly were saved, I think its just good to say that he dramatically turned a pandemic around.
Before his death in 2005, Hilleman helped develop more than 40 vaccines, many of them for childhood diseases. For this work, experts have credited him with saving millions of lives. In 1988, he received the National Medal of Science for his contributions to public health.
S Global Consultation On Composition Of Seasonal Vaccines
Using data from the GISRS monitoring, experts came together at the WHO in 1986 for the first time to review virus circulation and determine the strains most likely to spread and infect people globally that season.
Initially this was only done annually, but now it is performed twice a year with the help of predictive, computational models. The US CDC estimates the flu vaccine has an effectiveness of between 40% and 60%, depending on the accuracy of the match between the flu virus and the vaccine. Scientists are working on better forecasting models in a bid to increase the efficacy even higher.
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Who Starts Monitoring Virus Strains
It became clear that not only were there two different strains of influenza, but the viruses were constantly evolving and mutating through what became known as antigenic drift. As early as 1947, it was clear that the seasonal vaccine created for the US military did not protect against all flu.
Therefore, six years after the WHOs founding by the United Nations, the organisations Executive Board created the Global Influenza Surveillance and Response System .
The GISRS was the first surveillance system to monitor the flu disease burden and the mutational changes occurring making vaccines less effective.
Over time the GISRS began to also support improved vaccine development by encouraging research to obtain suitable virus isolates to compose seasonal flu vaccines based on the epidemiology of that years particular disease-causing, mutated influenza virus.
Currently Available Influenza Vaccines
The currently available seasonal influenza vaccines provide protection against circulating virus strains that are closely related to those represented in the vaccine but fail to provide long-lasting and broadly protective immunity against more distantly related drifted influenza viruses. This has led to the development of a procedure of influenza vaccine strain selection that is coordinated by the WHO twice a year in close consultation with an international network of key laboratories and academies to review surveillance, clinical study results, and the availability of vaccine viruses . For a few decades, this strain selection was used to produce trivalent vaccines that represented the 2 circulating influenza A virus subtypes and 1 influenza B virus lineage. Since 20132014, mainly quadrivalent influenza vaccines are administered. They represent 2 circulating influenza A virus subtypes and 2 influenza B virus lineages: the Yamagata and Victoria lineages, which display limited serum cross-reactivity. As cross-Blineage protection appears to be related to the level of exposure to influenza B virus, which increases with age, protection against the seasonal influenza B virus lineage absent from trivalent vaccines may occasion vaccine failure in children. Quadrivalent vaccines were shown to provide improved protection against influenza B virus in children, which are less likely to have preseasonal immunity in case of a B linage mismatch of a trivalent vaccine .
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Historical Annual Reformulations Of The Influenza Vaccine
Since 1999, the World Health Organization has issued annual recommendations for influenza vaccine formulations. One reformulation of the influenza vaccine is for the Northern Hemisphere, and the other is for the Southern Hemisphere. Both recommendations are trivalent, i.e. featuring three strains.
Since the 201213 season, the WHO recommendations have also included the formulation of an annual quadrivalent vaccine, featuring an additional B-strain.
Whos Most At Risk Of Getting The Flu
Typically, children and older people are most at risk of getting sick with influenza. The best way to protect babies who are too young to be vaccinated is to make sure people around them are vaccinated. Occasionally, a flu virus will circulate that disproportionately affects young and middle-age adults.
You also can reduce the spread of the flu and its effects by taking such practical measures as washing your hands, covering coughs and sneezes, and staying home when youre sick.
The FDA has approved numerous vaccines for the prevention of influenza. But if you do get the flu, there are FDA-approved antiviral drugs, available by prescription, to treat your illness. There are several FDA-approved antiviral drugs recommended by the CDC for use against circulating influenza viruses. These drugs work best if started soon after the onset of symptoms .
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What Else Should I Know
Some things might prevent a person from getting the flu vaccine. Talk to your doctor to see if the vaccine is still recommended if your child:
- has ever had a severe allergic reaction to a flu vaccination
- has had Guillain-Barré syndrome
Egg Allergy and the Flu Vaccine
In the past, people with an egg allergy had to check with their doctor about whether the flu vaccine was OK for them because it’s grown inside eggs. But health experts now say that the amount of egg protein in the vaccine is so tiny that it’s safe even for kids with a severe egg allergy. This is especially important during a severe flu season.
Still, a child with an egg allergy should get the flu vaccine in a doctor’s office, not at a supermarket, drugstore, or other venue.
Getting a Flu Vaccine During the COVID-19 Pandemic
The flu season seemed milder during the COVID-19 pandemic, as fewer people got infected or were hospitalized with the flu. This was probably tied to public health measures that protected against coronavirus, as they also protect against the flu. These included wearing masks in public, social distancing, and less travel. Increased flu vaccination rates also might have helped. If these precautions happen less, the rate of flu infections will go back up, so it’s still important to get a flu vaccine each year. People can get a flu vaccine at the same time they get the COVID-19 vaccine.
The Sixties: Split Vaccines
New inactivated compounds were tested for safety and efficacy during seasonal epidemics in the 1960s, in particular two new formulations were created: split and subunit vaccines. The 1968 pandemic led to the development of trivalent inactivated vaccines against influenza viruses moreover the development of new split or subunit vaccines led to a decrease of adverse reactions in children. These vaccines were split using ether and/or detergent, and haemagglutinin and neuraminidase were, in the case of subunit vaccines, purified and enriched .
In the same period, the first flu vaccines were licensed in Europe, while in the US annual influenza vaccination was recommended for individuals at major risk of influenza complications.
In 1968, the new virus strain H3N2 appeared, completely replacing the previous type A strain , and led to another global pandemic with high morbidity and mortality . In the same year, a new type of vaccine, the split vaccine, was authorized in the US after several clinical studies had demonstrated that it was less reactogenic than whole virus vaccines, especially in the early years of life .
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How Was The Flu Vaccine Created
Scientists had a working flu vaccine by the 1940s, after the influenza virus was first discovered in the early 1930s.
Soldiers fighting in World War II were the first patients to receive the flu vaccine when it was approved for military use in 1945 and civilian use was approved the following year.
Thomas Francis Jr., MD, and Jonas Salk, MD, who are more famously known for developing a vaccine for polio, were both integral to developing the flu vaccine.
The earliest flu shots protected against a single strain of the disease, influenza A. In 1942, after the discovery of influenza B, a bivalent vaccine, which protected against influenza A and influenza B, was produced. As scientists learned more about the virus and the ways it mutates, the World Health Organization developed a more rigorous process for targeting the strains that affect the most people which was instituted in 1973.
When Should I Get Vaccinated
You should get a flu vaccine before flu viruses begin spreading in your community since it takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body and provide protection against flu. Make plans to get vaccinated early in the fall, before flu season begins. CDC recommends that people get a flu vaccine by the end of October. However, getting vaccinated early is likely to be associated with reduced protection against flu infection later in the flu season, particularly among older adults. Vaccination should continue to be offered throughout the flu season, even into January or later. Children who need two doses of vaccine to be protected should start the vaccination process sooner of vaccine to be protected should start the vaccination process sooner because the two doses must be given at least four weeks apart.
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Jenner Didn’t Seek To Make Any Money From His Vaccine He Wasn’t Interested In Patenting It Owen Gower
Nevertheless, Jenner realised that his smallpox vaccine the name derived from the Latin for cowpox, vaccinia had the potential to transform medicine and save lives. But he also knew he would only halt the disease if he could vaccinate as many people as possible.
Jenner didn’t seek to make any money from his vaccine, he wasn’t interested in patenting it, says Gower. He just wanted people to know about it and he wanted to share it.
He converted a rustic summerhouse in his garden into his Temple of Vaccinia and invited local people to be vaccinated after church on Sunday.
He wrote to other physicians offering them samples of the vaccine material and encouraging them to do it themselves so that people were vaccinated by their own local trusted health professional, Gower says. It’s a theme that we see now in terms of vaccine advocacy and ensuring acceptance of a vaccine is the right message delivered by the right person.
In the 19th Century, smallpox is thought to have killed 400,000 people a year in Europe alone
After Jenner published his findings, news of the discovery spread across Europe. And then, thanks to the support of the King of Spain, around the world.
In 1803, the ship sailed for South America. On board were 22 orphans to act as vaccine carriers.
The children were cared for on the journey by the orphanage director, Isabel de Zendala y Gomez, who also brought along her own son to contribute to the mission.
The First Flu Vaccine Is Introduced
Soviet scientist A.A. Smorodintseff made the first attempt to vaccinate people with a live influenza vaccine. Following in the footsteps of Louis Pasteurwho had made the first known attempt to vaccinate humans with a live, attenuated viral strain of rabies in 1885Smorodintseff passed the live flu virus about 30 times in eggs, so it lost its virulence. He reported that those injected with the modified virus developed a slight fever but were protected against reinfection.
The attenuated virus was then used for mass production of a vaccine that was largely administered to factory workers, who were susceptible to outbreaks due to close working conditions.
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Johnson & Johnson Partners With The Us Department Of Health And Human Services
Johnson & Johnson announced a collaboration with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response to develop a comprehensive portfolio of therapeutics and vaccines to protect communities in the event of an influenza pandemic. The hope is to help prevent the more than 1 billion cases of influenza globally each year that result in 5 million cases of severe illness and up to a half-million deaths.
The History Of The Flu Virus
The flu is a fascinating subject. Most Australians are exposed in one way or another. Whether you yourself have had the flu or youve seen a family member go through it, you are likely aware of its effects and the illness it can cause the vulnerable, such as children and the elderly. With the 2020 flu season almost upon us, weve pulled together some interesting facts about the flu vaccine and the history of the flu in Australia.
The influenza virus was first isolated in 1933, giving rise to a new era in which all of humanity could be protected from one of the worlds most prolific killers. This breakthrough changed thinking about influenza, as previously the consensus was that the flu was caused by a bacterium known as Haemophilus Influenzae.
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How To Prevent The Flu
The elderly, young children, pregnant women, people with chronic disease and those with compromised immune systems are more likely to get the flu. The CDC says the flu vaccine is the most effective way to prevent the flu, though it is not foolproof. Avoiding close contact with sick individuals, covering coughs and sneezes, and washing your hands often can help prevent the flu. Once someone has contracted the flu, doctors can prescribe antiviral medication to shorten the illness and decrease symptoms.
Can A Flu Vaccine Give Me Flu
No, a flu vaccine cannot cause flu illness. Flu vaccines that are administered with a needle are currently made in two ways: the vaccine is made either with a) flu vaccine viruses that have been killed and are therefore not infectious, or b) with proteins from a flu vaccine virus instead of flu vaccine viruses . The nasal spray vaccine is made with attenuated live flu viruses, and also cannot cause flu illness. The weakened viruses are cold-adapted, which means they are designed to only cause infection at the cooler temperatures found within the nose. The viruses cannot infect the lungs or other areas where warmer temperatures exist.
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