Current Events Vaccinations

Flu shot overhaul next year

According to the USA Today, the influenza vaccine may receive a complete overhaul for the 2008-2009 flu season.

All three flu viruses in this year’s vaccine should be swapped for others next year because of a dramatic change in the mix of circulating flu bugs…

The decision launches a “time-critical, highly orchestrated” effort by public health agencies and vaccine makers to produce roughly 100 million doses of vaccine — a dated process that involves growing the virus in eggs, he said. “From egg to vial, it takes six to eight months,” Baylor said in a background briefing with reporters this week.

The egg-growing process is done only in the U.S. In Europe, vaccines can be produced faster since they are developed artificially in a lab.

This year’s vaccine protects against just one of three viruses that are dominating this year’s flu season, now reaching its peak. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said last Friday that 44 states are reporting widespread flu activity, with cases mounting in five others.

Scientists are unable to explain why all of a sudden, new flu strains have grown so much in prevalence.

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