What are the 4-strains of flu vaccine?


Inforgaphics from www.multivu.com

Vaccinations: More Than You May Expect

There are a number of influenza vaccination options on the market. Primarily: trivalent and quadrivalent. Trivalent vaccines have three different kind of vaccine strains mixed together to give your immune system a boost designed such that is should combat all kinds of flu. Quadrivalent influenza vaccines introduce four separate antigen strains to give even more protection. One or the other of these vaccine options may be more appropriate for you or the loved ones whom you are having vaccinated. Talking to your doctor beforehand is a great way to ensure you don’t go too far or not far enough. Following are several pointers to help you determine whether or not the four-strain vaccine is right for you.

Differences In Vaccinations

Every year, it is known that some iteration of strain is going to be more or less prevalent. The trivalent strain includes the three most likely to affect the population. A quadrivalent vaccine adds that additional layer of protection through an additional strain. While this strain may not be expected, that does not mean it will not hit – and in big numbers. If the strain is not expected and does hit, few will be properly vaccinated against it, so it has a higher propensity to spread. If you have been vaccinated against it, you have acquired additional protection.

Recommendations On Who Should/Shouldn’t Get The Vaccine

Age is a big factor involved in which kinds of vaccine are administered. The CDC may recommend that everyone six months of age or older get vaccinated, but sometimes your child may not be healthy enough at that time. Consult your doctor first. A trivalent vaccine is recommendable in younger children, as their immune systems have not yet been built up enough, and a quadrivalent vaccine could be dangerous to their developing bodies.

Is One Better Than The Other?

Unfortunately, that answer is going to vary per person. Quadrivalent vaccines will definitely provide better protection against influenza, but the effects of the vaccination itself could be a little bit more severe, which can be discomfiting enough to recommend the trivalent option; especially since there is no guarantee the fourth strain of flu against which the quadrivalent solution has been prepared will even make an appearance in the year the inoculation is administered. Side-effects on both vaccination options are considered to be primarily of the mild variety, but logic reveals a quadrivalent injection is likely to have increased side effects, as it necessarily has more antigens by a factor of at least 25%. This means it will generally have an increased effect on your immune system of about that quotient. Though, that said, results will differ per person.

What Comprises Each Strain of Vaccine?

Since there are a ubiquity of A-strain influenza mutations out there individualizing themselves, the right one can be hard to predict. Meanwhile, there are just two B strains; and the C-strain of influenza can’t be vaccinated against. A trivalent vaccine will include both H1N1 and H3N2, the most common Influenza Type-A strains, as well as the most likely B-strains (either Brisbane or Massachusetts), while a quadrivalent vaccine will include all four strains; both the “B”, as well as Both the “A” strains.

When To Vaccinate

Whether you go the quadrivalent or trivalent option, the best time to vaccinate is when you are in good health. Usually that’s going to be sometime in the middle of the Summer, though you may be in excellent health during other times of the year. Taking either in good health should be alright for mature individuals; but consult your doctor anyway.


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