Feb. 21, 2019
WHO meeting on Influenza concludes with recommendations .
The WHO Consultation and Information meeting on the Composition of Influenza Virus Vaccines for use in the 2019-2020 Northern Hemisphere Influenza Season has concluded today, 21 February 2018, in Beijing, with the recommendations on the composition of the influenza vaccines for the following influenza season.
The periodic replacement of viruses contained in influenza vaccines is necessary in order for the vaccines to be effective due to the constant evolving nature of influenza viruses, including those circulating and infecting humans.
Twice annually, WHO organizes consultations with an advisory group of experts to analyse influenza virus surveillance data generated by the WHO Global Influenza Surveillance and Response System (GISRS), and issues recommendations on the composition of the influenza vaccines for the following influenza season.
These recommendations are used by the national vaccine regulatory agencies and the pharmaceutical companies to develop, produce and license influenza vaccines.
It is recommended that quadrivalent vaccines for use in the 2019-2020 northern hemisphere influenza season contain the following:
an A/Brisbane/02/2018 (H1N1)pdm09-like virus;
an A(H3N2) virus to be announced on 21 March 2019*;
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.
* In light of recent changes in the proportions of genetically and antigenically diverse A(H3N2) viruses, the recommendation for the A(H3N2) component has been postponed.
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