The Food and Drug Administration says it has approved a new flu vaccine for the season beginning this year that will be manufactured by a half-dozen drug companies.
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.
The vaccine will be manufactured by six companies: GlaxoSmithKline, CSL Limited, ID Biomedical Corp., Medimmune Vaccines, Novartis and Sanofi.
Between 5 and 20 percent of Americans get the flu each year, leading to 200,000 hospitalizations, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The CDC recommends everyone six months and older receive an annual flu shot.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)