WASHINGTON (AP) - The Food and Drug Administration said Monday
it has approved the new flu vaccine for the season beginning this
Each year the FDA works with other federal agencies and global
health experts to design a vaccine to protect against the three
viral strains most likely to cause the flu. This year's flu shot
will be a duplicate of last year's because the same flu strains are
The vaccine will be manufactured by six companies:
GlaxoSmithKline, CSL Limited, ID Biomedical Corp., Medimmune
Vaccines, Novartis and Sanofi.
Between 5 percent and 20 percent of Americans get the flu each
year, leading to 200,000 hospitalizations, according to Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention.
Last year, the CDC began recommending an annual flu vaccination
for everyone except babies younger than 6 months and those with
unusual allergies and medical conditions. That recommendation
helped boost vaccination rates, along with the appearance in 2009
of swine flu, which was more dangerous than other strains to young
The CDC plans to buy about 18 million of the 2011-2012 doses,
primarily for government vaccine programs for children.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)