FDA panel approves new flu vaccine for seniors

A Food and Drug Administration advisory panel has recommended the agency approve a new flu vaccine specifically designed to be more effective in patients over age 65.

Fluad, made by Novartis, contains a substance designed to stimulate a greater immune system response that isn't found in the 12 currently available flu vaccines designed for seniors. Experts advocating for better flu vaccines for seniors say Fluad is “superior” to other similar vaccines and may “fit the bill,” Medscape reported.

A majority of the members of the FDA's Vaccine and Related Biological Products Advisory voted that the vaccine, Fluad, was both effective and safe. Historically, the FDA follows its panels' recommendations.

Fluad was first approved in Europe in 1997 and is currently available in more than 38 countries.