Swine flu added to seasonal jab

Swine flu will be included in the 2010/11 seasonal flu vaccine, the WHO has announced.

The decision follows a four-day meeting examining the influenza strains circulating globally.

The organisation announced that the next trivalent vaccine for the northern hemisphere should include a swine flu strain, technically known as an A/California/7/2009 (H1N1)-like virus. It will also include an A/Perth/16/2009 (H3N2)-like virus and a B/Brisbane/60/2008-like virus.

A DoH spokeswoman said that the department plans to use the trivalent seasonal flu vaccine in the upcoming seasonal flu programme, as recommended by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation.

Dr Keiji Fukada, WHO special adviser on pandemic influenza, said that the overwhelming number of flu viruses isolated around the world in the past year were the swine flu virus.

'The experts believe, based on this information, that these viruses will continue to be one of the dominant viruses in wide circulation in the coming fall and winter season in the northern hemisphere,' he said.

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