VRBPAC Agrees with WHO Recommends 2 Strain Change for 2015-16 Flu Vaccine

Date: March 5, 2015

The Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC) finalized their decision today on the 2015-16 influenza vaccine strains and officially voted to go with the recommended WHO changes, recommending the two strain change.

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommended changing two strains for the Northern Hemisphere's 2015-16 flu season, based on its advisory group's in-depth analysis of the most recent circulating strains and patterns.

The A/Switzerland/9715293/2013, which is the majority of the current related circulating H3N2 viruses, will replace this season's A/Texas strain, and the B/Phuket/3073/2013 will replace the B/Massachusetts strain. The 2nd B strain used for the quadrivalent vaccines will remain the same as last seasons, B/Brisbane/60/2008.

Both WHO and VRBPAC recommends that trivalent vaccines for use in the 2015-16 influenza season (Northern Hemisphere winter) contain the following:

  • an A/California/7/2009 (H1N1)pdm09-like virus;
  • an A/Switzerland/9715293/2013 (H3N2)-like virus;
  • a B/Phuket/3073/2013-like virus.

They also recommend that quadrivalent vaccines containing two influenza B viruses contain the above three viruses and a B/Brisbane/60/2008-like virus.

This final VRBPAC decision allows vaccine manufacturers to start formulating the upcoming seasonal flu vaccine, a process that takes about 6 months. Oftentimes a two strain change can add some complexities to the manufacturing process, ordering vaccine as early as possible can better help our manufacturing partners forecast their demand for vaccine. Place your online order today at www.myfluvaccine.com!