News Headlines Article

The Making of a Flu Vaccine
The Wall Street Journal

The annual fight to keep the flu under control starts here.

Doctors are studying nose and throat swabs from flu sufferers sent from laboratories around the world, from Texas to the Solomon Islands. They are trying to predict which flu viruses will be most potent and common and should be included in the vaccine.

Scientists at the World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Reference and Research on Influenza in Melbourne — one of six such centers globally — face an imprecise prediction process. This helps explain the vaccine’s varying effectiveness year to year. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said earlier this month that this year’s immunization may be less effective due to a mutation to a particular virus strain.