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FDA Approves First Quadrivalent Flu Vaccine

FluMist Quadrivalent, a vaccine developed by AstraZeneca plc's (AZN: Quote) MedImmune unit, has been approved by the FDA for the prevention of seasonal influenza in people aged 2 years through 49 years.

FluMist Quadrivalent is the first influenza vaccine to contain four strains of the influenza virus - two influenza A strains and two influenza B strains. All other currently available licensed seasonal influenza vaccines, are trivalent, containing only three influenza virus strains namely, two strains of influenza A and one of influenza B.

Some of the approved trivalent flu vaccines are CSL Biotherapies' Afluria; Novartis' Agriflu; GlaxoSmithKline's Fluarix; ID Biomedical Corp.'s FluLaval; MedImmune's FluMist, and Sanofi Pasteur Inc.'s Fluzone and Fluzone High-Dose.

According to federal health officials, FluMist Quadrivalent increases the likelihood of adequate protection against circulating influenza B strains.

The newly approved FluMist Quadrivalent is administered as a spray into the nose, similar to the trivalent FluMist vaccine.

Influenza, commonly referred to as flu, is a contagious viral infection, associated with aches, pains, tiredness, sore throat and a runny nose. The symptoms may last from three to five days and can make a person quite ill for a few weeks.

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by RTT Staff Writer

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