The New Flu Vaccine

Dr. Sharon Orrange
Dr. Orrange is an Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine in the Division of Geriatric, Hospitalist and General Internal Medicine at the Keck School of Medicine of USC.
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Four is better than three right? The new flu vaccine, approved this week by the FDA, will cover four strains of the flu virus instead of three. The new quadrivalent vaccine, FluLaval Quadrivalent, is the second flu vaccine available that covers four strains.

Four primary influenza strains circulate each year causing the majority of influenza illness, but the influenza vaccines used for the past thirty years only covered three strains. Of course now with a shot at covering four of the strains we may get better with our vaccine, especially given that in six of the past eleven flu seasons one of the predominant strains causing illness wasn’t in the vaccine. Now, we will have broader coverage.

FluLaval Quadrivalent helps protect against the two A strains and B strains, decreasing influenza-related morbidity across all age groups (children, adults, and the elderly).

Some of the new vaccine will be available this year, but the majority of FluLaval Quadrivalent vaccine will be available in 2014.

Dr O.

The current FluLaval vaccine covers three strains; the other vaccine available that covers four strains is Fluarix Quadrivalent.

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