2017-2018 Northern Hemisphere Flu Vaccine Recommendation

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has just announced its recommended formulation for influenza vaccines to be used in the Northern Hemisphere winter 2017-18. This follows  a  3-day WHO Consultation with Advisers from WHO CCs and WHO ERLs based on year-round surveillance by the WHO Global Influenza Surveillance and Response System (GISRS).

The periodic replacement of virus strains contained in influenza vaccine is necessary because of the constant evolution of influenza viruses, which can change their antigenic and genetic characteristics. 
It is recommended that trivalent vaccines for use in the 2017-2018 northern hemisphere influenza season contain the following:
– an A/Michigan/45/2015 (H1N1)pdm09-like virus;
– an A/Hong Kong/4801/2014 (H3N2)-like virus; and
– a B/Brisbane/60/2008-like virus.
It is recommended that quadrivalent vaccines containing two influenza B viruses contain the above three viruses and a B/Phuket/3073/2013-like virus.

Available candidate vaccine viruses following the above recommendation and the full technical reports can be found at:

In addition, the review on vaccine viruses for zoonotic influenza vaccine development is updated through the WHO Consultation:

The availability of candidate vaccine viruses of seasonal influenza vaccines, and of other subtypes of influenza for pandemic preparedness purposes can be found at: http://www.who.int/influenza/vaccines/virus/candidates_reagents/home/en/

Updated 3rd March 2017