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Current time:0:00Total duration:9:17

Video transcript

so the story kind of begins with the WH o the World Health Organization and the WH o actually works with a few of the regional labs so there are actually five labs sprinkled around the world and these labs collect specimens from hundreds of countries so hundreds and hundreds of countries do surveillance to figure out what type of flu is affecting their particular population and they will send this information over to these five regional labs and I'm just going to quickly draw out for you where the regional labs are there's one over here in the US there's also one down here in China and then there's another one over here in Japan and a fourth one in the southern hemisphere in Australia and finally there's one in the United Kingdom so this is the last one there are five in total the whu-oh we'll take a look at all the different strains that have come in to these five labs again from all over the world and they'll try to make a decision as to what makes the most sense because flu usually kind of moves around the world in a very predictable way so they can make an educated guess as to what strains they should include in the vaccine to protect people most effectively sometimes they'll use a strain that they used in previous years is another I'll pick something brand new so let's go through the three strains that they actually picked for the most recent vaccine the 2012-2013 vaccine I'll start with the type of virus they put in there and generally it's to type a's and one type b that's the the usual kind of formula that they use the w-h-o recommends that for the trivalent or three strain vaccine and the exact one that they choose can be actually followed they usually name it in part based on location so they'll say okay the type is a and they'll say the location is in this case the first one actually came from California the second one came from Victoria Australia and the final one came from Wisconsin in the United States so this is the location of the three strains in fact if you ever see a name you'll see a slash between these two so I'll put a slash here as well next they actually have strain numbers so they'll give you a number and what that number refers to it doesn't mean a whole heck of a lot to us but we're going to put it in there just because that's how they name things the strain number is for the first one seven this is 361 and this is strain one and then finally they'll put the year that they actually identified this thing so the year of identification and this first one this type a was actually identified back in 2009 whereas the other ones are a little bit newer identified in 2011 and 2010 so that's what comes after the strain number and finally the last thing which only applies to the first two is that if it's a type A they'll actually tell you the h and n type so for example the first one the California strain this one is actually a type h1n1 and the second one is an h3n2 and the third one because it's a type B we don't you really use that H and n classification so I'll just put kind of a hash that are meeting nothing so if you ever come across these things in some sort of formal document at least now you know what the heck all these numbers and words refer to so this is literally how they kind of named the strains and just for you and I to know this first one here this one is actually an old strain so this is actually part of the last few vaccines this is not a new one that was included whereas these other ones down here these ones are actually new strains they were not part of the vaccine in previous years these are new additions or changes to the vaccine so just to kind of remember we always include to type a's and one type b and the type a is one is h1n1 and the other is an h3n2 that's how we've been doing it in recent years now let me bring up a little bit more canvas because I want to talk you through exactly what happens once the w-h-o decides that these are the strains are going to use and this decision was actually made back in February of 2012 so months and months in advance they're figuring out what strain we're going to use and that information then goes to the next group of folks which is the manufacturers right the manufacturers are going to take this information and they're literally going to start putting things together they're going to start the manufacturing process and one of the key parts of this process which a lot of people don't realize that it's pretty mind-boggling is that you need millions actually hundreds of millions of eggs the same kind of eggs you might eat for breakfast but these eggs are actually laboratory grade and they're needed for making this process work and once it's made one of the key things and this reassures a lot of folks is safety we want to make sure that these things are safe and so a lot of testing goes into making sure that all of these vaccines that they make are safe so once that's done and people feel comfortable that it's a safe vaccine we start distributing it so distribution is next and we're going to go through each of these stages and think just a little bit about kind of which people are involved in all these steps but I just want to kind of lay out all the steps first so you get an appreciation for how many players are are and how many steps are in getting a vaccine to you so it goes of course from distribution goes to these clinics and then finally at the end of the day there is a person there might be you and so this is you getting your flu shot and you're very happy because you're now protected from the vaccine and I'll draw a little bit of a a a little shield around you a little protection for you to make sure that that it's clear that you're protected not completely onto a little hole in the protection not completely because the vaccine isn't perfect but it's pretty good and in fact this year in terms of how well the vaccine is working not in studies but in the real world in terms of how it's doing as people are getting it about sixty two percent effectiveness so it's actually really quite good in studies we always kind of see around 60 to 70 percent and now in real life we're seeing a 62 percent effectiveness in terms of vaccine effectiveness the word effectiveness just means kind of real-world data versus efficacy is kind of what we see in studies that's the difference in the two words so let me list out some of the different folks involved at each step of the way so in terms of selecting the strain we said that the w-h-o is responsible in working with all the different countries and the public health groups and laboratories and scientists that are kind of looking at all the strain data and then in terms of manufacturing there you got to think about the vaccine industry right there are many many big players here big business is involved in terms of churning out millions of doses of vaccines so here the vaccine industry is a major player and then you think of all the other groups are involved so I said that you have to get hundreds of millions of eggs to make this process work and so of course then you have to really work with farmers right and if you have a year where the flu is really hurting the birds and the the chicken population then that's going to make it really hard because there are fewer eggs to contribute to the vaccine manufacturing so it's actually kind of an interesting thought process you know if flu obviously affects chickens as well as humans and so if those populations start dying out then even humans suffer because we don't have the vaccine now then safety is huge right so you have to think of all the different countries that that have organizations that care about safety and in the US the one that comes to mind is the FDA or the Food and Drug Administration so each country has its own kind of a process of thinking about safety and those groups are obviously very involved in making the vaccine as well and then you've got all these logistic things to think about I mean if you're making hundreds of millions of vaccines you've got to distribute them around the world right you've got to think about airplanes I can actually take your flu vaccine and move it around you've got to think about refrigeration it may be ships right if you're moving across large bodies of water maybe trucks to get vaccine inland if it's cheaper that way so lots of logistical issues to kind of think about how to get vaccine distributed and then finally you've got nurses and doctors in the clinics that have to be informed they need to know when to start making appointments for their patients and how to set up clinics to kind of actually administer the vaccine to all the folks and finally we've got you right you're at the end of this chain and not just you but there about 250 million folks just like you getting vaccine so 250 mmm in doses are actually put together and this is quite an ephah right you can see that the countries involved you know and getting all that information to all these different groups that have to get involved in terms of making this even possible so to me this is actually one of the most impressive feats out there and it really is a testament to what science can do for mankind