New Flu Vaccine Recommended for Children 5+ Years and Older

Four-strain influenza vaccine AFLURIA QUADRIVALENT provides protection against both B virus lineages
children happy looking at a computer screen

Getting the annual flu vaccine is the first and best way to protect yourself and your family from the flu, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

This means, the more people who get vaccinated, the more people will be protected from the flu.

In 2017, a study published in Pediatrics was the first of its kind to show that the flu vaccination also significantly reduced a child’s risk of dying from influenza.

In a new announcement, the FDA has approved a quadrivalent influenza vaccine for use in children five years of age and older.

Quadrivalent (four-component) vaccines protect against a second lineage of B viruses and are recommended to be produced using the same viruses recommended for the trivalent vaccines, as well as a B/Phuket/3073/2013-like (B/Yamagata lineage) virus.

The traditional seasonal influenza vaccine is a trivalent formula consisting of two strains of influenza A virus and a single strain of influenza B virus.

For 2017-2018, three-component vaccines are recommended to contain:

  • an A/Michigan/45/2015 (H1N1)pdm09-like virus (updated)
  • an A/Hong Kong/4801/2014 (H3N2)-like virus
  • a B/Brisbane/60/2008-like (B/Victoria lineage) virus

This new vaccine, AFLURIA QUADRIVALENT, protects against two influenza A strain viruses, and two B strain viruses.

Since 1985, two distinct lineages of influenza B virus have co-circulated with varying dominance. The use of a four-strain influenza vaccine like AFLURIA QUADRIVALENT may now provide protection against both B lineages.

Additionally, the CDC is communicating these changes for the 2017 season:

  • The recommendation to not use the nasal spray flu vaccine (LAIV) was renewed for the 2017-2018 season. Only injectable flu shots are recommended for use again this season.
  • Flu vaccines have been updated to better match circulating viruses (the influenza A(H1N1) component was updated).
  • Pregnant women may receive any licensed, recommended, and age-appropriate flu vaccine.
  • Two new quadrivalent (four-component) flu vaccines have been licensed: one inactivated influenza vaccine (“Afluria Quadrivalent” IIV) and one recombinant influenza vaccine (“Flublok Qudrivalent” RIV).
  • The age recommendation for “Flulaval Quadrivalent” has been changed from 3 years old and older to 6 months and older to be consistent with FDA-approved labeling.
  • The trivalent formulation of Afluria is recommended for people 5 years and older (from 9 years and older) in order to match the Food and Drug Administration package insert.

Most pharmacies offer flu vaccines. The CDC vaccine price list can be found here

To find discounts on flu vaccines, please visit this webpage.

Both AFLURIA and AFLURIA QUADRIVALENT vaccines are presented in pre-filled syringes as well as multi-dose vials, and are the only influenza vaccines with a needle-free injection delivery option for people aged 18 to 64 years.

More information about AFLURIA and AFLURIA QUADRIVALENT vaccines can be found here