Influenza - Seasonal
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Author: Karen Guice, M.D., M.P.P.
Memorandum from ASD (Health Affairs) for the 2016-2017 influenza season and immunization program.
Each week the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Center publishes a summary of influenza activity in the COCOMS. The summary tracks influenza like illness, flu activity through the DoD laboratory surveillance network and influenza vaccination coverage. Reports are by COCOM and service members or beneficiary populations.
On November 20th the FDA announced approval of Flucelvax, the first seasonal influenza vaccine licensed in the United States produced using cultured animal cells, instead of fertilized chicken eggs. Flucelvax is approved to prevent seasonal influenza in people ages 18 years and older. The manufacturing process is similar to the egg-based production method, but a significant difference is that the virus strains included in the vaccine are grown in animal cells of mammalian origin instead of in eggs. Cell culture technology has already been in use for several decades to produce other U.S. licensed vaccines.