New flu vaccine will mirror this past season's

WASHINGTON — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that the Food and Drug Administration has recommended that the flu vaccine for the 2011-2012 season protect against the same strains as it did this year.

The FDA's Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee recommended that the vaccine will protect those immunized against H1N1, H3N2 and a type of influenza-B virus, the same formulation as this past season's vaccine.

This past 2010-2011 flu season, outpatient visits for influenza-like illness peaked at 4.6% during the week ended Feb. 19, according to the CDC. What's more, based on the percentage of deaths resulting from pneumonia or flu, the number of flu-associated pediatric deaths reported and the percentage of visits to outpatient clinics for ILI, the CDC reported that the 2010-2011 flu season was less severe than the 2009-2010 and 2007-2008 seasons, but more severe than the 2008-2009 flu season.

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