August 5, 2013 -- Quadrivalent (four-strain) influenza vaccines will make their US market debut during the upcoming vaccination season, and vaccine makers are reporting good demand for them, spurred in part by a large order from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
On the market this year are quadrivalent vaccines made by MedImmune, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), and Sanofi Pasteur, all of which won approval from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) within the past 18 months.
For decades, seasonal flu vaccines have targeted three flu strains—two type A (H1N1 and H3N2) and one type B. In contrast, quadrivalent vaccines include two different B strains, in an effort to ensure that vaccinees will have reasonable protection regardless of which type B lineage turns out to be most common. In recent years it has been difficult to predict which B lineage would predominate in any given winter.
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