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    9 October, 2018

The WHO Consultation on the Composition of Influenza Vaccines for the Northern Hemisphere 2018-2019 was held in Atlanta GA, USA on 24-26 September 2018. Following the Consultation, WHO made the following recommendation:

It is recommended that egg-based quadrivalent vaccines for use in the 2019 influenza season (southern hemisphere winter) contain the following:
  •   an A/Michigan/45/2015 (H1N1)pdm09-like virus;
  •   an A/Switzerland/8060/2017 (H3N2)-like virus;
  •   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).
It is recommended that egg-based trivalent vaccines for use in the 2019 influenza season (southern hemisphere winter) contain the following:
  •   an A/Michigan/45/2015 (H1N1)pdm09-like virus;
  •   an A/Switzerland/8060/2017 (H3N2)-like virus; and
  •   a B/Colorado/06/2017-like virus (B/Victoria/2/87 lineage).
It is recommended that the A(H3N2) component of non-egg based vaccines for use in the 2019 southern hemisphere influenza season be an A/Singapore/INFIMH-16-0019/2016-like virus together with the other vaccine components as indicated above.

The recommendation includes a change in the A(H3N2) component of the egg-based vaccine. This is because a larger proportion of recently circulating viruses were well inhibited by ferret antisera raised against egg-propagated A/Switzerland/8060/2017 compared to the previous vaccine strain (A/Singapore/INFIMH-16-0019/2016). The new vaccine strain belongs to an antigenically distinguishable genetic subclade compared to the previous vaccine strain. The B/Victoria component of the vaccine has also changed because globally, an increasing proportion of circulating viruses are antigenically similar to B/Colorado/6/2017 and different from the previous vaccine virus (B/Brisbane/60/2008).

See full details of the WHO recommendation
See current influenza vaccine recommendations


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