New flu vaccination types have been widely reported and one of those was the vaccination that targeted four flu strains, rather than the conventional three strains. This vaccination is now being shipped to various sites across the world.
When it comes to the development of flu vaccination, viruses tend to be classified as A or B strains. Generally, flu vaccines provide protection against three strains, with a combination of two A-strains and one B strains.
This is because A-strains contain more recurring viruses whereas B-strains contain viruses that are likely to cause a flu infection during that specific season. However, it has long been known that two types of B-strains spread every year but that it is challenging to know which strain will lead to the most individuals falling ill.
The new vaccination, which was developed by GlaxoSmithKline, is aimed at resolving this issue by including two A-strains and two B-strains. It goes by the name Fluarix Quadrivalent, and can be used by children above the age of three and adults.
However, the side effects differ between children and adult. Whilst clinical trials indicated that adults experience muscle aches, headaches and fatigue, children experienced drowsiness, irritability and loss of appetite as well.
Nevertheless, it appears that the vaccination had been well received by the research community as well as policy makers. For instance, the U.S. Centres for Disease Control has placed an order for over four million doses, which will be used by state and local health care providers.
Representatives for GlaxoSmithKline have stated that they are likely to supply an estimated 24 million doses of the vaccine in total, with 14 million being outside of the US.
The vaccination has also been approved for use in the UK and we will keep you posted on any developments here. For further information on flu vaccination in the UK, we recommend this NHS