The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Sanofi Pasteur's supplemental biologics license application for a Fluzone Intradermal Quadrivalent vaccine on Friday.
The Fluzona Intradermal vaccine has been available to the public in a trivalent form for three years. Trivalent vaccines contain three strains of virus.
Now the public has access to the quadrivalent form of the vaccine, which contains four strains of the influenza.
Studies show that the quadrivalent form prevents the spread of four different strains of the common influenza virus, such as influenza A subtype and type B viruses.
Between 20 percent and 25 percent of common flu infections are caused by influenza B. The trivalent vaccine only includes two influenza A strains and one influenza B strain. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed that 50 percent of the previous 13 influenza vaccines contained B strains different from the B strain circulating that season.
Researchers developed the quadrivalent vaccine to correct the mismatches between the B strains in the vaccine and the B strains in circulation.
Sanofi Pasteur researchers completed a successful study involving 3,355 adults that showed that the immune responses to the quadrivalent vaccine were equal to the responses to the trivalent strain.
"Fluzone Intradermal Quadrivalent vaccine will offer another influenza vaccination option for health care providers and their adult patients with broad coverage against influenza viruses that may be predominant, coupled with the efficiency of using the intradermal microinjection system,” Dr. David P. Greenberg, vice president, Scientific & Medical Affairs, and chief medical officer of Sanofi Pasteur US, said.
The quadrivalent flu vaccine is only available for adults ages 18 to 64.
Common side effects, which occur within three days of receiving the vaccine, include hardness at the site of the injection, itchiness, redness, swelling, pain, headaches, muscle aches and malaise.