First quadrivalent vaccine for seasonal influenza approved by FDA
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the use of FluMist Quadrivalent, a vaccine to prevent seasonal influenza in people between the ages of 2 and 49, making it the first approved flu vaccine to contain four strains of the virus - two influenza A strains and two influenza B strains.
This vaccine, like the previously approved FluMist Trivalent, contains weakened virus strains and is administered as a nasal spray. The vaccine protects against the two forms of the flu virus, and while the earlier-approved FluMist (trivalent) also contained strains from both forms, the inclusion of a second B strain increases the likelihood of strong protection from circulating influenza B strains.
"Illness caused by Influenza B virus affects children, particularly young and school-aged, more than any other population," said Karen Midthun, M.D., director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research. "A vaccine containing the four virus strains most likely to spread and cause illness during the influenza season offers an additional option to aid in influenza prevention efforts."
Encourage workers to protect themselves and co-workers from the flu virus by providing hand sanitizers in the workplace, and ensuring disinfectant and towelettes are on hand. Coughs and sneezes should always be covered with a tissue or directed into the upper sleeve to keep the spread of the flu virus to a minimum.