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The FDA Is Already Working On Next Season's Flu Vaccine

The Food and Drug Administration is working on a more effective flu vaccine after this season's was only 25 percent effective against influenza A.
Posted at 4:29 PM, Feb 27, 2018

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is starting to work on next season's flu vaccine, and it wants to make sure it's more effective than this year's.

Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said the FDA is partnering with other health agencies to look at millions of flu cases; they want to understand why the 2017-18 vaccine was only 25 percent effective overall against the influenza A strain. A panel of experts will meet March 1 and consider recommendations from the World Health Organization, which advised changing two of the strains in the vaccines.

In what Gottlieb called an "especially difficult" season, there have been 97 pediatric flu-related deaths so far. Centers for Disease Control data shows a recent decline in doctors visits to report flu-like symptoms, but the agency stopped short of confirming if the number of cases had peaked yet.

Last week, a federal panel recommended the nasal spray version of the vaccine for the 2018-19 flu season.

Additional reporting from Newsy affiliate CNN.