Conference Coverage

ACIP votes to recommend new strains for the 2018-2019 flu vaccine



Thirteen members of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) voted to approve the influenza vaccine recommendations for 2018-2019, while one member abstained from voting at the summer ACIP meeting.

The 2018-2019 recommendation maintains the core recommendation that influenza vaccines should be administered to all persons 6 months or older who have no contraindications.

In the trivalent vaccines, the A/Michigan/45/2015 (H1N1) pdm09 virus will remain from the 2017-2018 vaccine while the A/Singapore/INFIMH-16-0019/2016 (H3N2)-like virus is being added along with the B/Colorado/06/2017-like virus (Victoria lineage). The quadrivalent vaccine will include all these three strains from the trivalent vaccine, along with the B/Phuket/3073/2013-like virus (Yamagata lineage).

FluMist Quadrivalent (LAIV4) also is being updated for the 2018-2019 season. At the February meeting of ACIP, the committee approved language that providers may provide any licensed, age-appropriate influenza vaccine, and LAIV4 is considered in this set of vaccine options.

Prior to this approval, there was a discussion of the safety of the 2017-2018 vaccine. For many of the available vaccines, there were no new safety concerns raised from reports during the flu season. Monitoring during the 2018-2019 will yield more safety monitoring data concerning pregnancy and influenza vaccinations and anaphylaxis in persons with an egg allergy.

The committee’s recommendations must be approved by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s director before they are considered official recommendations.

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