From an uncertain process of guesses and science, each year’s flu vaccines emerge

January 18, 2015 6:02 AM

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WASHINGTON — In early March, Dr. Robert Daum and other infectious-disease specialists from around the country will gather in a Silver Spring, Md., hotel to choose the influenza strains that vaccine makers should target for next year’s flu season.

It’s an annual medical guessing game of sorts, one backed by data but also plagued with uncertainty. And when the guesses don’t exactly match the reality, as happened this past year, it can mean a dismal and deadly flu season.

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