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    22 February, 2019

The WHO Consultation on the Composition of Influenza Vaccines for the Northern Hemisphere 2019-2020 was held in Beijing, China on 18-20 February 2019. Following the Consultation, WHO made the following recommendation:

It is recommended that egg-based quadrivalent vaccines for use in the 2019-2020 influenza season (northern hemisphere winter) contain the following:
  •   an A/Brisbane/02/2018 (H1N1)pdm09-like virus;
  •   an A/Kansas/14/2017 (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 the influenza B virus component of trivalent vaccines for use in the 2019-2020 northern hemisphere influenza season be a B/Colorado/06/2017-like virus of the B/Victoria/2/87-lineage.

* The A(H3N2) component was recommended on 21 March 2019..

The recommendation includes a change in the A(H1N1)pdm09 component of the egg-based vaccine. The change in recommendation was based on differences in the response of recent circulating viruses to human post-vaccination sera compared to the cell- and egg-grown viruses of the previous A(H1N1)pdm09 vaccine strain.

The decision to delay the selection of an A(H3N2) component of the vaccine arises from the continual rapid evolution of circulating A(H3N2) viruses and challenges in generating candidate vaccine viruses. In particular, the proportion of viruses in one antigenically distinct group has increased in recent months. Postponing the recommendation will enable more time to monitor circulating viruses and characterise potential vaccine viruses.

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


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