Which strains of the influenza virus are covered by this year’s vaccine?
The influenza virus has many types. Each year the World Health Organization makes recommendations for the strains that are in the influenza vaccine and the strains that should be circulating around New Zealand.
The funded quadrivalent influenza vaccines in 2018 offer protection against the following influenza strains:
• A/Michigan/45/2015 (H1N1) pdm09-like virus
• A/Singapore/INFIMH-16-0019/2016 (H3N2)-like virus
• B/Phuket/3073/2013-like virus
• B/Brisbane/60/2008-like virus
The A/Singapore/INFIMH-16-0019/2016 (H3N2)-like virus in this year's vaccine is broadly matched to the strain being referred to in the media as 'Australian flu'. This strain circulated in the southern hemisphere during winter 2017 and severely affected the northern hemisphere during their 2017–2018 winter.