Quadrivalent Influenza Vaccine

Brand names: AFLURIA Quadrivalent, Fluarix Quadrivalent, FluLaval Quadrivalent, Flucelvax Quadrivalent and Fluzone Quadrivalent, FluMist Quadrivalent

What is quadrivalent flu vaccine?

A quadrivalent influenza (flu) vaccine is designed to protect against four different flu viruses, including two influenza A viruses and two influenza B viruses.

Click here to learn more about the vaccine composition for the 2020-2021 flu season vaccines.

Why was quadrivalent flu vaccine developed?

For many years, flu vaccines were designed to protect against three different flu viruses (trivalent vaccines). Trivalent vaccines protect against an influenza A(H1N1) virus, an influenza A(H3N2) virus and one influenza B virus, even though there are two different lineages of B viruses that both circulate during most seasons. Adding another B virus to the vaccine aims to give broader protection against circulating flu viruses.

Who can get quadrivalent flu vaccine?

Different vaccines are approved for different age groups. There is a quadrivalent flu shot that can be given to children as young as 6 months old. Other quadrivalent flu shots are approved for people 3 years and older. More information on approved flu vaccines for the 2020-2021 flu season, and age indications for each vaccine are available in CDC’s Table: U.S. Influenza Vaccine Products for the 2020-2021 Season.

The quadrivalent nasal spray vaccine is approved for use in non-pregnant individuals, 2 years through 49 years old. People with certain medical conditions should not receive the nasal spray influenza vaccine.

Who shouldn’t get quadrivalent flu vaccine?

Different influenza (flu) vaccines are approved for use in different age groups. In addition, some vaccines are not recommended for certain groups of people. Factors that can determine a person’s suitability for vaccination, or vaccination with a particular vaccine, include a person’s age, health (current and past) and any allergies to flu vaccine or its components. For more information, visit Who Should and Who Should NOT get a Flu Vaccine.

Are any of the available flu vaccines recommended over the others?

No. For the 2020-2021 flu season, CDC and its Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommends annual flu vaccination for everyone 6 months and older with any licensed age-appropriate flu vaccine including inactivated influenza vaccine (IIV), recombinant influenza vaccine (RIV4) or live attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV4) with no preference expressed for any one vaccine over another.

How much quadrivalent flu vaccine will be available for the United States during the 2020-2021 flu season?

Most flu vaccine in the United States is now quadrivalent. Of the 194 to 198 million doses of flu vaccine projected to be available for the 2020-2021 season, manufacturers estimate that 99% of doses (195 million) will be quadrivalent flu vaccine.

Are quadrivalent flu vaccines safe?

Yes. Flu vaccines that protect against four flu viruses have a safety profile similar to seasonal flu vaccines made to protect against three viruses, with similar—mostly mild—side effects. Like all seasonal flu vaccines, vaccines that protect against four flu viruses are monitored annually for their safety and effectiveness.

Quadrivalent vaccine cannot cause flu illness because they contain ‘inactivated’ (killed) virus, attenuated (weakened) virus, or are made using recombinant methods that don’t use flu virus in the manufacturing process.

For information about flu vaccine side effects, see “Can the flu vaccine give me the flu?”

Special Consideration Regarding Egg Allergy

People with egg allergies can receive any licensed, recommended age-appropriate influenza vaccine (IIV, RIV4, or LAIV4) that is otherwise appropriate.  People who have a history of severe egg allergy (those who have had any symptom other than hives after exposure to egg) should be vaccinated in a medical setting, supervised by a health care provider who is able to recognize and manage severe allergic reactions. Two completely egg-free (ovalbumin-free) flu vaccine options are available: quadrivalent recombinant vaccine and quadrivalent cell-based vaccine.