WHO recommends composition of influenza virus vaccines for use in the 2019-2020 northern hemisphere influenza season

World Health Organization

The World
Health Organization (WHO) Consultation and Information meeting on the Composition
of Influenza Virus Vaccines for use in the 2019-2020 Northern
Hemisphere Influenza Season
has concluded today, 21 February 2018, in
Beijing, with the recommendations on the composition of the influenza vaccines
for the following influenza season.

The periodic
replacement of viruses contained in influenza vaccines is necessary in order
for the vaccines to be effective due to the constant evolving nature of
influenza viruses, including those circulating and infecting humans.

WHO convenes
technical consultations in February and September each year to recommend
viruses for inclusion in influenza vaccines for the northern and southern
hemisphere influenza seasons, respectively. This recommendation relates to the
influenza vaccines for use in the forthcoming northern hemisphere 2019-2020
influenza season. A recommendation will be made in September 2019 relating to
vaccines that will be used for the southern hemisphere 2020 influenza season.
For countries in tropical and sub-tropical regions, WHO guidance for choosing
between the northern and southern hemisphere formulations is available on the
WHO Global Influenza Programme website.

Twice
annually, WHO organizes consultations with an advisory group of experts to
analyse influenza virus surveillance data generated by the WHO Global Influenza
Surveillance and Response System (GISRS), and issues recommendations on the
composition of the influenza vaccines for the following influenza season.

These
recommendations are used by the national vaccine regulatory agencies and the
pharmaceutical companies to develop, produce and license influenza vaccines.

According
to WHO It is recommended that quadrivalent vaccines for use in the 2019-2020
northern hemisphere influenza season contain the following:

an
A/Brisbane/02/2018 (H1N1)pdm09-like virus;

an A(H3N2)
virus to be announced on 21 March 2019*;

a
B/Colorado/06/2017-like virus (B/Victoria/2/87 lineage); and

a
B/Phuket/3073/2013-like virus (B/Yamagata/16/88 lineage).

According to WHO It is recommended that the influenza B virus component of trivalent vaccines for use in the 2019-2020 northern hemisphere influenza season be a B/Colorado/06/2017-like virus of the B/Victoria/2/87-lineage.

* In light of recent changes in the proportions of genetically and antigenically diverse A(H3N2) viruses, the recommendation for the A(H3N2) component has been postponed.

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