This image depicts the hands of a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) scientist, who having unpacked a number of influenza samples that had been sent to CDC for testing, (see PHIL 22151 – 22154), was placing the repackaged samples into a cold-storage environment within the laboratory setting. Her pink-gloved hand was shown pushing the sample box into its appropriate cold-storage slot within the lab’s freezer.
Influenza (flu) viruses change constantly. As a WHO Collaborating Center for Influenza (WHO CC) and the U.S. National Influenza Center, CDC monitors flu activity nationally and globally with other labs, looking for changes in circulating viruses. CDC monitors flu viruses because changes can impact the effectiveness of flu vaccine. When circulating viruses are substantially different from those in the vaccine, vaccine effectiveness can be reduced. If it looks like viruses are starting to change in specific ways (which can impact how well the vaccine works), this can trigger health authorities to recommend different viruses for vaccine production.
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