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H1N1 Virus To Be Incorporated
Into Next Year's Seasonal Flu Vaccine

In an effort to curb H1N1 vaccine fears well established in populations around the world, the H1N1 virus is set to be added to next year's seasonal flu vaccine to increase compliance.

The pandemic H1N1 virus is expected to be incorporated into the seasonal flu jab in about six months, in time for the Southern Hemisphere's mid-year winter.

Communicable Disease Centre director Leo Yee Sin, disclosing this on Friday, noted that the current seasonal flu vaccine is a cocktail of three influenza viruses - the A/H3N2 virus, the B virus and the seasonal A/H1N1 virus. The last-mentioned virus is different from the pandemic H1N1 now prevailing.

Dr. Rodney Brown stated that "the A/H1N1 virus was already in last year's seasonal flu vaccine in almost every country, but it's inclusion in next year's flu shot will incorporate all the recent changes."

According to the Compendium of Pharmaceuticals and Specialties 2009 Edition, the A/H1N1 virus was included in all seasonal influenza vaccines for Adults. "Most people including Physicians were unaware that the inactivated form of the virus was in last year's flu shot and probably won't find out it's in next year's flu vaccine unless they're looking for it," said Dr. Brown.

The viruses that go into making each seasonal flu vaccine are chosen afresh each year, based on data gathered on the flu strains infecting humans.

Associate Professor Annelies Wilder- Smith of the Traveller's Screening & Vaccination Clinic at the National University Hospital said it usually takes about six months from the time a virus strikes until a vaccine becomes available.

David Fisman, a University of Toronto expert in infectious disease dynamics, can't understand the rational for continuing mass vaccinations. He said that for a virus as contagious as H1N1, less than 30 per cent of the population needed vaccination to reach a critical level of immunity. "The pandemic was already peaking, and then subsiding before the vaccination was rolling out in force," he said.

* A full list of h1n1 vaccine ingredients, alerts and warnings.

Reference Sources:
December 8, 2009

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