Every year the World Health Organization holds a meeting with worldwide experts to make recommendations for the next season’s Northern Hemisphere flu vaccine. It seems strange to plan for next season when we’re still in the midst of the current flu season, but the vaccine-making process still takes about 6 months. Influenza season generally ramps up around September or October, so starting the process now ensures that there’ll be a good supply of vaccine for folks to get protected from flu before the next season hits.
At last week’s meeting in Geneva, the WHO panel recommended that the components in next season’s vaccine remain the same as this year’s. Even though the vaccine components will stay the same, it’s still important to get vaccinated every year. Immunity wanes over time, so the best way to protect yourself is to get vaccinated every year.