A new quadrivalent vaccine will replace Fluvax, Sequiris’ trivalent vaccine for the 2017 flu season.
“It is generally accepted that QIV is becoming the preferred seasonal vaccine, as was the case with bivalents when the industry moved to trivalents,” Sequirus’ Dr Jane Leong, Head of Medical Affairs, Asia Pacific, told the AJP today.
“The traditional seasonal influenza vaccine is a trivalent formula consisting of two strains of influenza A and a single strain of influenza B virus.
“However, since 1985, two distinct lineages of influenza B have co-circulated with varying dominance.
“Because there is no cross-protection between the lineages, in some years the B strain not included in the vaccine accounted for a substantial proportion of all influenza cases,” she says.
“The use of a four-strain influenza vaccine can reduce the risk for B lineage incompatibility, which may lead to a decrease in the influenza burden.”
Earlier this year two key people in the move towards pharmacist vaccination told the AJP that the trivalent flu vaccine would likely “fall by the wayside”.
“We’re finding that not a lot of people are very interested in the trivalent this year,” said Pharmacy Guild Queensland Branch president Tim Logan at the time.
And QUT’s Professor Lisa Nissen, who led the QPIP trial, told us that “Even as early as next year, the trivalent may be consigned to the history books”.
The new vaccine, Alfluria Quad, is manufactured locally; its name change from Fluvax to Afluria brings consistency across Sequirus’ global influenza brand portfolio, as the Australian-manufactured trivalent had been exported overseas for eight years under the name Alfluria.
“Seqirus is thrilled that Afluria Quad has received TGA registration and will be available in Australia for the 2017 influenza season for adults aged 18-plus,” says Dr Leong.
“As CSL celebrates its centenary this year, we are exceptionally proud of our record of supporting and prioritising Australian influenza immunisation programs.”