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.
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.
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+.
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 Barré Syndrome within the past 6 weeks.
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.
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