All the annoying stuff we did as a result of COVID-19 appears to have had a side-effect, eliminating an entire strain of flu, reports CNN. (Full story is here)

For 10 years, Americans have had access to flu shots that protect against four strains of the virus: two A strains and two B strains. Starting this fall, however, all the flu shots distributed in the United Stateswill contain only three strains, and the change happened in part because of Covid-19.

On Tuesday, a panel of experts who advise the US Food and Drug Administration on vaccines voted unanimously to recommend three-strain flu vaccines that will exclude any viruses from B strains that are part of branch of the flu’s family tree called Yamagata.

Yamagata viruses were in decline before the pandemic, and all the precautions that helped people avoid Covid-19 – including masking, staying at home and better ventilation – appear to have finished them off. They haven’t been detected in testing since March 2020.

The story has details about the effect this will have, including the need to keep the strain in vaccines sent to other parts of the world. Vaccines are complicated!

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