Quadrivalent Flu Vaccine Approved for Pediatric Patients

October 23, 2018
Kevin Kunzmann

The vaccine is designed to help protect patients against a pair of both influenza A strain and B strain viruses. It is currently available in the US for the 2018-19 flu season.

A quadrivalent influenza (flu) vaccine has been approved for use in younger patients by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The ALFURIA QUADRIVALENT vaccine, from Seqirus, has been granted an indication that expands its availability to pediatric and adolescent patients at least 6 months of age. The approval comes more than 2 years after the vaccine was first accepted in the US for adults aged 18 years and older.

The vaccine is designed to help protect patients against 2 influenza A strain and 2 B strain viruses. It is currently available in the US for the 2018-19 flu season, packaged as pre-filled syringes and multi-dose vials.

Pediatric flu vaccinations have become a greater-stressed practice by numerous authoritative agencies in recent years. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) previously estimated that 600,000 people in the US were hospitalized due to flu-related complications during the 2016-2017 season.

The American Academy of Pediatrics reiterated its supported use of antivirals in term and preterm infants this year, and emphasized a need for overall improved vaccination rates in children.

Such a practice is apparently better preached than executed. A study released in September revealed that roughly only half of US women receive a flu vaccine either during or before their pregnancy, many citing they were never advised by their healthcare provider to receive the vaccination.

Investigators of the study had noted that, across all demographics, women were most likely to be vaccinated if offered coverage by a care provider, investigators noted.

“Missed opportunities to vaccinate were common, even among women with multiple health care visits,” investigators wrote. “Many pregnant women reported not receiving a provider recommendation for vaccination, which might be partly attributable to differences in perception of a provider recommendation between patients and providers.”

The CDC recommends that everyone 6 months and older receive an annual flu vaccination—an advisory that Gregg Sylvester, vice president of Medical Affairs at Seqirus, echoed in response to the new FDA indication.

“As we enter a new flu season, we are reminded of the enormous impact that influenza can have on public health,” Sylvester said. “Having another option to fight this disease can translate to saved lives and fewer flu-related hospitalizations this season and going forward.”

Seqirus’ currently marketed vaccines for children aged 6 months or older, to elder people aged 65 years and older, includes egg-based and cell-based technologies, as well as adjuvant.


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