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GSK to Release 4 Strain Flu Vaccine

Posted on December 18 2012

Most of us have been there, proactively getting the seasonal flu shot only to get the flu later down the road anyway. However, the 2013-2014 flu season will be seeing a newly formulated flu shot by GlaxoSmithKline approved for use in the U.S. next year. In  six out of the past eleven flu seasons, many individuals who have been vaccinated have still developed the flu, mainly because there have been two rogue Influenza B strains in circulation that have not been included in flu shot formulas.  Since most flu shots only protect against 3-strains of influenza, whichever B strain is not being included in the yearly vaccination is affecting many patients who think they are protected. Both of the B strains have been in circulation for around a decade. The new vaccination called Fluarix Quadrivalent, will be the first flu shot to contain 4 different virus strains including the two B strains. The main circulating influenza B strain has been so effective in making people sick because it simply has not been chosen for the vaccine by healthcare officials. However, with the formulation of the new vaccine, there will be no choosing between which B strain to include as both can be included. The changes to the traditional flu vaccine will be able to impact a broader spectrum of people, protecting against the one strain that it has not protected against. The 4 strain inoculation has only been approved for use in the US. GSK states they will fulfill current orders for the 3-strain vaccine used in the 2012-2013 season and then immediately begin working on the 4-strain vaccine for next year. Sources: Reuters - http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/12/17/us-glaxosmithkline-vaccine-idUSBRE8BG0R920121217 MedPage Today - http://www.medpagetoday.com/InfectiousDisease/URItheFlu/36487 PharmaTimes Online - http://www.pharmatimes.com/Article/12-12-18/FDA_approves_GSK_s_four-strain_flu_vaccine.aspx

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