FDA Advisory Panel Backs Removal of Non-Circulating Flu Strain from Vaccines, Amid Timeline Concerns

October 6, 2023

The FDA’s vaccine advisory panel has supported removing a strain of influenza viruses that no longer circulates, known as B/Yamagata, from flu shots. The panel has encouraged the FDA and manufacturers to expedite this process. However, due to time constraints, it is unlikely that manufacturers will remove this component from the flu vaccines for the 2024-25 season. The discussion started after the World Health Organization recommended that the B/Yamagata component be removed as it appears to be non-circulating since late March 2020. The panel also discussed using the freed space in the vaccine to improve the performance of the flu shots, but disagreement on the best path forward and lack of research remains a proposal at this stage.

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[Source: STAT, October 5th, 2023]

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