Thursday, October 22, 2009

Seasonal Flu Vaccine Acquired

So I finally received the seasonal influenza vaccine yesterday. The vaccine contained three influenza viruses: one A (H3N2) virus, one regular seasonal A (H1N1) virus (not the 2009 H1N1 virus), and one B virus.

The influenza vaccine composition used in the 2009-2010 influenza season in the U.S. is identical to that recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) on February 12, 2009, for the Northern Hemisphere's 2009-2010 influenza season.

It was recommended by the WHO that vaccines for use in the 2009-2010 influenza season (northern hemisphere winter) contain the following:

— an A/Brisbane/59/2007 (H1N1)-like virus;*
— an A/Brisbane/10/2007 (H3N2)-like virus;**
— a B/Brisbane/60/2008-like virus.#

* A/Brisbane/59/2007 is a current vaccine virus; A/South Dakota/6/2007 (an A/Brisbane/59/2007-like virus) is a current vaccine virus used in live attenuated vaccines.

** A/Brisbane/10/2007 and A/Uruguay/716/2007 (an A/Brisbane/10/2007-like virus) are current vaccine viruses.

# B/Brisbane/33/2008 is a B/Brisbane/60/2008-like virus.


According to my documentation, the vaccine dose that I received was manufactured by Novartis Vaccines. I was given the vaccine in a single 0.5-mL intramuscular injection from a prefilled syringe.

According to the product information provided by Novartis on the FDA website, the shot in the prefilled syringe (0.5-ml) contains less than one microgram of mercury by 0.5-ml dose. Thimerosal, a mercury derivative used during manufacture, but removed by subsequent purification steps to a trace amount.

The 0.5-mL dose contained 15 micrograms (mcg) of influenza virus hemagglutinin (HA)
from each of the following 3 viruses: A/Brisbane/59/2007, IVR-148 (H1N1);
A/Uruguay/716/2007, NYMC X-175C (H3N2) (an A/Brisbane/10/2007-like virus); and


Product information from the other licensed manufacturers of the seasonal flu vaccine can be found on the FDA website.