2017 Flu Vaccine Strains
Towards the end of March GPs should start getting delivery of the 2017 flu vaccines, both the trivalent and quadrivalent versions (CCMC will again be providing the quadrivalent vaccine this year). In September 2016 WHO made recommendations as to the strains which should be incorporated in the Southern Hemisphere vaccine for 2017 and the Australian Influenza Vaccine Committee elected to adopt these recommendations:
the quadrivalent influenza vaccine for the Australian 2017 influenza season should contain the trivalent influenza vaccine components listed below, and the additional B strain:
B: a B/Phuket/3073/2013 like virus.
the trivalent influenza vaccine components for the Australian 2017 influenza season should contain the following:
B: a B/Brisbane/60/2008 like virus
A (H3N2): an A/Hong Kong/4801/2014 (H3N2) like virus
A (H1N1): an A/Michigan/45/2015 (H1N1)pdm09 like virus
This has one change in the H1N1 strain included when compared with the composition of the vaccines in 2016. However, even if there were no changes at all, it is still important to have the vaccine each year as the protection provided starts to wane after about 9 months (in fact some high risk patients choose to have 2 vaccines each year because of this).