Influenza Vaccine Composition for Australia in 2016

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The Australian Influenza Vaccine Committee (AIVC) met at TGA, Canberra, on 8th October 2015, to recommend influenza viruses to be used in the composition of the influenza vaccines for 2016. During this meeting, the expert committee reviewed and evaluated data related to epidemiology, antigenic and genetic characteristics of recent influenza isolates circulating in Australia and the Southern Hemisphere, serological responses to 2014-2015 vaccines, and the availability of candidate vaccines viruses and reagents.

The committee recommended that the TGA should adopt the September 2015 WHO recommendations:

• the trivalent influenza vaccine components for the Australian 2016 influenza season should contain the following:
o A (H1N1): an A/California/7/2009 (H1N1)pdm09 like virus
o A (H3N2): an A/Hong Kong/4801/2014 (H3N2) like virus
o B: a B/Brisbane/60/2008 like virus

• the quadrivalent influenza vaccine for the Australian 2016 influenza season should contain the trivalent influenza vaccine components listed above, and the additional B strain:
o B/Phuket/3073/2013 like virus.

The AIVC recommendation for the composition of trivalent influenza vaccine for Australia in 2016 introduces a new A (H3N2) strain and a new B strain when compared to the composition of the trivalent vaccine for Australia in 2015. As the quadrivalent influenza vaccine contains the same B strains as 2015 it represents only a change to the A (H3N2) strain when compared to the 2015 quadrivalent vaccine.