The influenza (flu) virus is a highly contagious viral infection that affects majority of people around the world in the winter months, leading to respiratory illnesses, such as pneumonia and bronchitis.1 Flu vaccines have been developed to reduce your risk of getting sick with seasonal flu and spreading it to others. Also, the more people who are vaccinated, the less likely the flu can spread through that community.2
Trivalent flu vaccines (traditional flu vaccines) protect against three flu viruses, while the Quadrivalent version protects against the same three flu viruses, plus an additional B virus.2 The addition of this extra B virus allows for broader protection against circulating flu viruses.3 Since the quadrivalent flu shot has only been recently introduced into the market, there are questions being posed about its safety profile. The answer is YES IT IS SAFE because studies have shown that vaccines made to protect against four flu viruses have a safety profile similar to seasonal flu vaccines made to protect against three viruses.3
In essence, the quadrivalent flu shot is safe and it provides broader coverage against the flu viruses as compared to the trivalent version. I hope this has helped to clarify the difference between trivalent and quadrivalent flu shots in terms of its composition, role, and safety profile. Thanks again for reading and feel free to share this article to those whom you think might benefit from this information
Created by Kw
- Misconceptions about seasonal flu and flu vaccines
- Is the flu shot safe in pregnancy?
- How long does it take for the flu vaccine to be effective?
- Immunise Australia Program. Influenza (Flu) [Internet]. Immunise Australia Program [updated 2016 Apr 11; cited 2017 Mar 5]. Available from: http://www.immunise.health.gov.au/internet/immunise/publishing.nsf/Content/immunise-influenza
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Key Facts About Seasonal Flu Vaccine [Internet]. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [updated 2016 Dec 9; cited 2017 Mar 5]. Available from: https://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/keyfacts.htm
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Quadrivalent Influenza Vaccine [Internet]. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [updated 2016 Aug 25; cited 2017 Mar 5]. Available fromL https://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/vaccine/quadrivalent.htm
- Skwarecki, B. Picture of Syringe and Vials [Image on Internet]. Life Hacker [updated 2015 Aug 25; cited 2017 March 5]. Available from: https://www.lifehacker.com.au/2015/08/the-vaccines-you-still-need-as-an-adult/
- Vuchnich, A and Abdin, L. Picture of Different Flu Viruses [Image on Internet]. Global News [updated 2015 Oct 13; cited 2017 Mar 5]. Available from: http://globalnews.ca/news/2254967/a-first-for-flu-season-a-new-more-robust-four-strain-vaccine/