It’s been an unseasonally ‘flu-ish’ year with Freddy Flu making his mark well through the Summer months. With no respite, we have another flu season on the horizon and some may be interested to learn about what goes into making the flu shot each year, and is it different each year?
Do we really need to have it every year?
Yes. This is because Freddy Flu genetically mutates as he passes between people on his global travels between cold seasons, usually hitch-hiking via air travel. By the time a whole twelve months has passed and he’s headed back to the Southern hemisphere searching for cooler weather, he is a changed man! Just like good fashion sense, he’s picked up a few new traits and is back to show them off!
So without further delay, let’s get cracking and check out the QLD Health’s website explanation on how the flu vaccine is made each year…
How is the flu vaccine made?
In February and September each year, The World Health Organization (WHO) holds a conference with leading experts and influenza centres from around the world to make recommendations about the composition of the next season’s flu vaccine.
They look at all the current information about influenza, including the recent patterns of flu epidemics across the world, to decide which strains of flu are likely to be most common in the next flu season. Vaccines are created to protect against these strains, usually containing three or four strain vaccines.
For countries in the Southern Hemisphere, like Australia, the information from the September conference helps them plan for flu vaccines for the following winter. After the conference, the Australian Influenza Vaccine Committee meet with the Therapeutic Goods Administration to confirm which strains will be included in the Australian flu vaccines. The vaccine funded for the National Immunisation Program in Australia contains the two strains of Influenza A most commonly circulating and the two Influenza B strains.
These vaccines then need to be made. It’s a long and time consuming process, with large amounts of each virus strain needing to be created to make enough vaccine doses.
So each year it really pays to consider your last shot isn’t going to hold (and we know it wears off eventually after 6 months anyway). Re-think your Glen 20 approach and save your own sick leave for other more un-forseeable illnesses; prevention is better than bedrest.
Reach out if you are local to South East Queensland and interested to learn more about our mobile-to-you flu shot services. Flexible and competitive pricing.
Bookings now for the impending Flu Season ahead!
–> email: [email protected] for booking information and free quotes
Phone: 1300 884 729