Flu vaccines updated for 2014/15 season

The influenza vaccine listings in MIMS have been updated for the 2014/15 season, including updated strains and two new tetravalent vaccines.

All people aged 65 years and older should receive an annual dose of the flu vaccine. | SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
All people aged 65 years and older should receive an annual dose of the flu vaccine. | SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

The trivalent vaccines available for this season are: Agrippal, Optaflu (Novartis), Enzira (Pfizer), Imuvac (Abbott Healthcare), Inactivated Influenza Vaccine BP and Intanza (Sanofi Pasteur MSD). 

New influenza B strain

In accordance with EMA/WHO guidelines for the 2014/15 season, the vaccines contain the following strains:

  • A/California/7/2009 as the H1N1-like component (as last season)
  • A/Texas/50/2012 as the H3N2-like component
  • B/Massachusetts/2/2012 as the influenza B component.

Two tetravalent vaccines

Two tetravalent vaccines are also available this year: Fluenz Tetra (AstraZeneca) and Fluarix Tetra (GSK), which contain the additional influenza B strain B/Brisbane/60/2008. Care must be taken not to confuse these vaccines as Fluenz Tetra is a live attenuated intranasal spray indicated for use only in children and adolescents, and Fluarix Tetra is an inactivated intramuscular preparation that is not approved for use in children under 3 years.

Childhood flu vaccine programme continues

Fluenz Tetra replaces Fluenz on the routine childhood vaccination schedule, which has been extended this year to include all children aged 2 to 4 years.

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