Influenza

Recommendations for Influenza Vaccine Composition


Northern hemisphere: 2003-2004

Addendum to the recommended composition of influenza virus vaccines for use in the 2003-2004 influenza season

On February 28, 2003, WHO published a recommendation on the composition of influenza vaccines for use in the 2003-2004 influenza season. Because of insufficient data, a decision on the A(H3N2) component was deferred. Additional data has since confirmed that in haemagglutination-inhibition (HI) tests an increasing proportion of recent virus isolates was distinguishable from A/Panama/2007/99 and similar to A/Fujian/411/2002. However, since there is no A/Fujian/411/2002-like virus, isolated in embryonated eggs, suitable as a vaccine candidate and since many recent isolates are antigenically closely related to A/Panama/2007/99, it is recommended that the A(H3N2) component of vaccines to be used in the 2003-2004 season contain an A/Moscow/10/99 (H3N2)-like virus.

Accordingly, it is recommended that the vaccines used in the 2003-2004 season (northern hemisphere winter) contain the following:

  • an A/New Caledonia/20/99(H1N1)-like virus
  • an A/Moscow/10/99(H3N2)-like virus*
  • A B/Hong Kong/330/2001-like virus**

* The widely used vaccine strain is A/Panama/2007/99
** Currently used vaccine strains include B/Shandong/7/97, B/Hong Kong/330/2001, B/Hong Kong/1434/2002

More information and details on the availability of reference reagents were provided in Weekly Epidemiological Record Vol. 78 No. 9, 2003, pp. 58-62:
Recommended composition of influenza virus vaccines for use in the 2003–2004 influenza season

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