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Online Discussion: Tracking new emerging diseases and the next pandemic; Now tracking the Aussie Flu.

WHO to Swap Current Vaccine as Obsolete.

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John L. View Drop Down
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    Posted: September 28 2017 at 5:47pm
More good news.  For egg-based (but not cellular based) flu vaccine manufacturers, the current flu vaccine is as I had said before already obsolete and off target (the one we in the USA are taking right now.)  A change for 2018 for the next Southern Hemisphere vaccine is in the works-too late for all of us.  From CIDRAP:

WHO swaps out H3N2, B strains in Southern Hemisphere flu vaccine

gloved_hand_and_vial.jpg

Gloved hand and research vial
CIPhotos / iStock

At their meeting this week in Melbourne, Australia, World Health Organization (WHO) vaccine advisors today recommended changing two of three components for trivalent vaccines that pharmaceutical companies will produce for the Southern Hemisphere's 2018 flu season.

The group recommended a new influenza A H3N2 strain, and swapped out the Victoria-lineage B strain with a Yamagata-lineage virus that had been recommended last year as the second B strain in quadrivalent vaccine formulations.

The WHO recommends the following for the Southern Hemisphere's trivalent vaccines:

  • For H1N1, an A/Michigan/45/2015-like virus
  • For H3N2, an A/Singapore/INFIMH-16-0019/2016-like virus
  • For B, a Phuket/3073/2013-like virus (belonging to the Yamagata lineage)

For quadrivalent vaccines that contain two influenza B strains, WHO experts recommend adding Brisbane/60/2008-like virus, a Victoria-lineage virus what was a component of trivalent versions of the Southern Hemisphere's current vaccine as well as the Northern Hemisphere's 2017-18 season vaccines.

Seasonal flu vaccines for the Northern Hemisphere's flu season will still contain the earlier H3N2 strain, and its trivalent vaccine's B strain will be the Victoria-lineage virus.

Changes in circulating H3N2 viruses

At the global level, H3N2 and influenza B are the predominant seasonal flu strains, and in the most recent flu developments, Australia is still reporting high flu levels, led by H3N2, with high numbers of deaths in nursing homes and in healthy adults.

Australia's Department of Health said in a statement yesterday that overall, the 2017 vaccines have been a "relatively good" match, but evidence suggests less effectiveness than usual, especially for protecting seniors against H3N2 infection.

In its strain selection report, the WHO said the majority of H3N2 strains that circulated from February to September belonged to the clade 3C.2a and subclade 3C.2.a1, which continue to show considerable diversity in their hemagglutinin and neuraminidase genes.

Most recent viruses are antigenically similar to the cell-propagated version of Hong Kong vaccine virus from the previous season, but were less similar to the egg-propagated virus, according to results from ferret serum tests.

Ferret serum tests showed that circulating strains were better inhibited by antibodies raised against the egg-propagated Singapore H3N2 vaccine virus strain. The group also said the Singapore vaccine strain, part of the 3C.2.a1 subclade, contains the N121K hemagglutinin substitution seen in the majority of recent H3N2 viruses and that the neuraminidases of recent H3N2 viruses are antigenically distinct from last season's H3N2 vaccine component.

Dan Jernigan, MD, MPH, with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, was asked about the WHO's new H3N2 component recommendation today at an annual news briefing hosted by the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID) to raise awareness about seasonal flu vaccination. He said there has been a little bit of drift in circulating H3N2 strains but no significant mutation. Jernigan said the new vaccine strain mainly affects egg-based flu vaccine manufacturers.

Regarding influenza B, both lineages co-circulated in varying proportions in different regions, but Yamagata predominated in Oceana, Europe, and the Americas, with Victoria more common in Asia and Africa.

John L.
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arirish View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote arirish Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 29 2017 at 8:48pm
If I'm reading this right it doesn't bode well for this years Northern Hemisphere's flu season! Prepare to hunker down!   
Buy more ammo!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote carbon20 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 30 2017 at 4:15pm
yes my kids are off to the UK at Christmas,

wonder what to advise them,

these changes will take a few months to get into  a vaccine so maybe ??? 

errr what to do!!! 

dilemma !!!
12 monkeys!!!!!
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Technophobe View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Technophobe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 30 2017 at 4:24pm
Vaccines carry a risk.

Flu carries a far bigger one.  (Latest flu 70+ deaths, current vaccine 1 death.)

Decide nearer the time, when the information will be more up to date, but bear that comparison in mind.
Absence of proof is not proof of absence.
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John L. View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote John L. Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 01 2017 at 12:54am
I agree.  Also, there are indications in the WHO report that the shift is more relevant to egg based vaccines.  I therefore intend to make sure I get the Flucelvac vaccine which is more advanced and is cellular based and grown instead.
John L.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jacksdad Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 01 2017 at 8:46am
Just copied and pasted the immunization page of my online medical record for my manager. I work in healthcare and I'm required to get the flu shot or wear a mask for the duration of the flu season. Seems I got the quadrivalent vaccine Thumbs Up

Of course, I came down with the sniffles a few days after the shot... Angry


"Buy it cheap. Stack it deep"
"Any community that fails to prepare, with the expectation that the federal government will come to the rescue, will be tragically wrong." Michael Leavitt, HHS Secretary.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Technophobe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 07 2017 at 3:15pm
A research team in Canada has been trying to establish why flu vaccines lose effectiveness so quickly and why this year's vaccines have lost it so very fast.

They concluded:   ""Despite decades of influenza vaccine research, we still do not have a comprehensive understanding of these interactions and how they influence vaccine protection.""

Absence of proof is not proof of absence.
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