ACIP: After WHO delay, FDA waits to select influenza strains for vax

FDA is expected to put off strain selection for the next influenza season, after the World Health Organization (WHO) pushed back its decision deadline to March 21. The delay was announced at the recent Atlanta meeting of FDA's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP).

FDA is expected to put off strain selection for the next influenza season, after the World Health Organization (WHO) pushed back its decision deadline to March 21. The delay was announced at the recent Atlanta meeting of FDA's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). WHO said it needed more time to review the data and determine the influenza A (H3N2) strain for the 2019–20 influenza season. FDA's Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee has always taken WHO's lead on influenza strains and thus, according to one ACIP official, is unlikely to move forward as scheduled with its own 2019–20 strain selection until WHO does so first. While movement on influenza vaccines stalled during the ACIP meeting, members did unanimously approve updates to recommendations for a pair of Japanese encephalitis vaccines for travelers. In addition, they unanimously voted for a recommendation related to the timing of an anthrax vaccine booster dose for certain first responders, vets who treat infected animals, and other individuals not at current high risk of exposure.