Published On: Thu, Feb 20th, 2014

Flu shots: 2014-15 influenza season recommendations for the northern hemisphere released

The World Health Organization (WHO)  Global Influenza Surveillance and Response System (GISRS), a global public health laboratory network coordinated by WHO, today released the recommended composition of influenza virus vaccines for use in the 2014-15 northern hemisphere influenza season.

According to the WHO release, it is recommended that trivalent vaccines for use in the 2014-15 influenza season (northern hemisphere winter) contain the following:

  • an A/California/7/2009 (H1N1)pdm09-like virus;
  • an A/Texas/50/2012 (H3N2)-like virus;
  • a B/Massachusetts/2/2012-like virus.

It is recommended that quadrivalent vaccines containing two influenza B viruses contain the above three viruses and a B/Brisbane/60/2008-like virus.

Generic influenza virion Image/CDC

Generic influenza virion

The WHO states that the vaccine viruses recommended for the 2014-15 northern hemisphere influenza season are the same as those used for the 2014 southern hemisphere and the northern hemisphere 2013-14 influenza seasons.

WHO recommendations provide a guide to national public health authorities and vaccine manufacturers for the development and production of influenza vaccines for the next influenza season. In contrast to many other vaccines, the viruses in influenza vaccines have to be updated frequently because circulating influenza viruses continuously evolve.

As it takes approximately 6-8 months to produce influenza vaccines, recommendations are made in September for the following influenza season in the southern hemisphere and in February for the following influenza season in the northern hemisphere.

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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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