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View Diary: Pandemic Lotto (155 comments)

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  •  Vaccines (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    The House, KimD

    Nothing against vaccines and people getting vaccinated to prevent the Flu, but I think the general populous is being over sold on them and most believe if they get a flu shot, they won't get the flu.  It is my understanding that those vaccines are protective against the strains scientists "expect" to appear during the next flu season.   If they are wrong and an unforeseen strain appears (e.g., H1N1), those who were vaccinated will be as vulnerable as the those who were not vaccinated.

    I always wondered, how scientists decide on the strains to prepare vaccines for, when flu virus evolution appears to be a strictly random process.  Anyone who knows something about this, I would love to be enlightened.

    "Some men see things as they are and ask, 'Why?' I dream of things that never were and ask, 'Why not?"

    by Doctor Who on Sun May 03, 2009 at 06:43:45 AM PDT

    •  To make flu vaccine, samples are collected (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      elfling, KimD

      from infected people all over the world. Currently, newspapers are reporting on this process, which usually goes on quietly in public health departments.

      The samples are sent to the CDC, WHO, etc. for analysis. In the spring, at the end of the flu year, the scientists attempt to predict which strains are most likely to be a problem next year. Since predicting the future is a difficult art, sometimes mistakes are made. The scientists overlook a strain which turns out to be deadly the next year. In that case the vaccine will not be protective.

      Flu vaccine is actually grown in eggs, a process which takes months to accomplish. Therefore the sucess of the vaccine depends on the previous spring's prognosticators.

      Conservation is green energy

      by peggy on Sun May 03, 2009 at 08:28:02 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  A panel vote (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      elfling, KimD

      it's basically, a beauty contest by a panel of expert.

      Top on the agenda- how to make a better educated guess as to which strains of influenza to prepare against.

      This year’s flu vaccine was largely ineffective because new strains of the influenza virus were not predicted. Two of the three strains escaped the target of the flu shot making it about 44 percent effective and one of the worst years for flu cases and pneumonia among adults.

      An FDA committee met in February to select the influenza virus strains for the 2008-2009 season.  Based on samples gathered from laboratories around the country, the panel recommended that vaccines for next season should contain the:

         * an A/Brisbane/59/2007 (H1N1)-like virus;
         * an A/Brisbane/10/2007 (H3N2)-like virus; *
         * a B/Florida/4/2006-like virus. #

      * A/Brisbane/10/2007 is a current southern hemisphere vaccine virus.
      #B/Florida/4/2006 and B/Brisbane/3/2007 (a B/Florida/4/2006-like virus) are current southern hemisphere vaccine viruses.

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