Two new quadrivalent flu vaccines just approved by the FDA, are expected to be available to consumers for the upcoming 2013-14 flu season. French drugmaker Sanofi SA and British GlaxoSmithKline have both been approved by the FDA to supply the new four strain flu vaccines to consumers in the US. The Sanofi Fluzone Quadrivalent vaccine has been approved by the FDA for use in persons 6 months of age and older. The Fluarix Quadrivalent vaccine from GlaxoSmithKline was approved by the FDA for use in persons three years of age and older.
Four Strain Flu Vaccines vs. Three Strain Flu Vaccines
These two FDA approvals mark a first for the US flu vaccine market. The traditional US flu vaccine is a trivalent vaccine, which means it vaccinates against three flu strains: Two of the most common A flu strains and one B flu strain. However, since 2000, there has been an increase in the circulation of two types of B flu strains. The new quadrivalent vaccine targets two A strains and two B strains.