About the New Quadrivalent Flu Shot

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the quadrivalent flu vaccine?

The quadrivalent (four virus) flu vaccine is similar to the traditional flu vaccine except that it includes two influenza B strains instead of one as well as the two influenza A strains currently used in traditional influenza vaccines. Traditional flu vaccines offer protection from H1N1, H3N1 (both Type A influenza viruses) and one B flu virus.

Is the vaccine used in the intradermal shot the same as other flu shots?

The quadrivalent flu shot is similar to the traditional flu shot by offering protection from H1N1, H3N1 (both Type A influenza viruses).  However, the quadrivalent shot offers protection against two B influenza viruses instead of just one B virus in the traditional shot.

Who can receive a quadrivalent vaccine?

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the quadrivalent vaccine for individuals aged ages 3 - 65+ years of age and the quadrivalent nasal spray for ages 2- 65+.

What are the risks of the quadrivalent vaccine?

You cannot get the flu by having a quadrivalent flu vaccination.  Possible risks with the quadrivalent flu vaccine are the same as a traditional flu shot and the risk of a serious health problem from the vaccine is extremely small.  Yet, like other types of medicine, a rare serious reaction such as a severe allergic reaction is possible. Please tell your doctor or nurse know if you have a history of an allergic reaction to a flu shot or eggs, and if you have been diagnosed with Guillain BarrĂ© Syndrome within the past 6 weeks.

Are there any side effects that could occur?

Similar to the traditional flu shot, possible side effects from a quadrivalentflu shot include redness, swelling or itching at the injection site.  Other side effects may include tiredness, muscle aches or headache, which may persist for up to a week.