Seasonal flu vaccines released

Flu vaccines have been released for the 2013/14 flu season.

Immunisation should be postponed if the patient has a febrile illness or acute infection | SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Immunisation should be postponed if the patient has a febrile illness or acute infection | SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Vaccines currently available include Fluarix (GlaxoSmithKline), Imuvac (Abbott Healthcare), Inactivated Influenza Vaccine BP and Intanza (Sanofi Pasteur MSD). The live attenuated intranasal preparation Fluenz (AstraZeneca) is also available for use only in children and adolescents. In addition, two new flu vaccines have been launched: Influvac Desu (Abbott Healthcare) and Fluarix Tetra (GlaxoSmithKline).

Recommended strains for 2013/14 season

In accordance with EMA/WHO guidelines for the 2013/14 season, the vaccines contain the following strains:

  • A/California/7/2009 as the H1N1-like component (as last season)
  • A/Victoria/361/2011 as the H3N2-like component (as last season)
  • B/Massachusetts/2/2012 as the influenza B component.

First quadrivalent vaccine

Fluarix Tetra is a quadrivalent vaccine and contains an additional influenza B component:

  • B/Brisbane/60/2008.

New season formulations of the flu vaccines marketed by Janssen-Cilag (Viroflu), Novartis (Agrippal, Fluvirin and Optaflu) and Pfizer (Enzira) were not available at the time of going to press. Inflexal V is not being marketed for this flu season.

Further information: Green Book – Chapter 19: Influenza

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