WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Food and Drug Administration says it has approved the new flu vaccine for the season beginning this year.
Each year the FDA works with other federal agencies and global health experts to design a vaccine to protect against the three viral strains most likely to cause the flu. This year's vaccine has one strain in common with last year's vaccine, plus two new viral strains.
The vaccine will be manufactured by six companies, including GlaxoSmithKline, Sanofi and Novartis.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, between 5 and 20 percent of Americans get the flu each year, leading to 200,000 hospitalizations. Flu-related deaths vary each year and can range from 3,000 to 49,000.
The CDC recommends that everyone older than six months receive an annual flu vaccine.
Strains selected for inclusion in the 2012-2013 flu vaccines are:
A/California/7/2009 (H1N1)-like virus
A/Victoria/361/2011 (H3N2)-like virus
While the H1N1 virus is the same as what was included in the 2011-2012 influenza vaccines, this year's influenza H3N2 and B viruses differ from those in the 2011-2012 influenza vaccines.