Flu vaccine recommendations are issued every year by WHO. There are two sets of recommendations given for Northern & Southern hemispheres separately. The recommendations are given on the basis of the prevailing flu strains that are sent to the WHO lab from around the world in the last one year.
So the answer to your question is Yes, after 3 years of being the same, this year's Northern hemisphere vaccine is different from the previous years recommendations.
There are 3 strains in the Flu vaccine, out of which the H1N1 (Swine flu strain) remains the same. The other strains.
- The old A/Perth/16/2009 (H3N2)-like virus now gives way to the A/Victoria/361/2011 (H3N2)-likevirus.
- And the Victoria lineage B/Brisbane/60/2008-likevirus will be replaced by a Yamagata strain; theB/Wisconsin/1/2010-like virus.
As far as India is concerned, this vaccine is likely to be available by September 2012, and you should ask your Pediatrician if it is needed for your child.
If you have any other vaccine or child related query, or any comments, please let us know,