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Quadrivalent Influenza Vaccine

Get vaccinated early to prevent the invasion of influenza virus! Influenza is a respiratory illness caused by viruses, and it can affect people of all ages. Many elderly and children get hospitalized because of the infection. Although influenza can be self-limiting, we should never underestimate its power. Influenza can lead to other complications, or even death in severe cases. Prevention is better than cure. Therefore, the new quadrivalent influenza vaccine (Fluarix-tera) is recommended to ensure adequate protection against influenza A and B influenza virus.

Which kind of influenza virus is the most common in Hong Kong?

Every year from January to March and July to August are the peak periods of influenza in Hong Kong. Influenza can be caused by a variety of influenza viruses, whereas influenza A (H1N1 and H3N2) and influenza B are more common among all. According to the data from Prince of Wales Hospital in 2012, the hospitalization rates due to influenza A and influenza B virus infection were 30% and 24% respectively, and a high proportion of them are children and adolescents. From 2000 to 2010, the average age of the confirmed influenza B cases in Prince of Wales Hospital is 20.6. Among them, the patients in the age group of 5-9 years and 10-14 years have the highest proportion of getting influenza B virus infection.

How to prevent the influenza virus?

Influenza virus is highly contagious and can be transmitted through respiratory droplets. The symptoms include fever, cough, headache, sore throat, fatigue and runny nose. Elderly and patients with poor immunity will bear a high chance of developing complications, if not treated timely. Influenza A can cause pneumonia or heart failure, while influenza B can lead to acute pneumonia, or even death in severe cases. Apart from proper personal hygiene, the seasonal influenza vaccine is also an effective means to prevent influenza virus.

What are the differences between trivalent and quadrivalent influenza vaccines?

ompared with the trivalent vaccine, the quadrivalent influenza vaccine provides a more effective protection against influenza virus infection due to its broader coverage. The coverage of quadrivalent influenza vaccine includes two influenza A subtypes (Texas H3N2, H1N1) and two influenza B subtypes (Massachusetts, Brisbane). The new quadrivalent influenza vaccine can afford additional protection against meningococci serogroups A, C, W135 and Y, which gives a broader protection. On the contrary, the trivalent influenza vaccine can only prevent three kinds of influenza virus, i.e. A/California/7/2009 (H1N1), A/Texas/50/2012 (H3N2), and B/Massachusetts/2/2012.

Who should receive the trivalent influenza vaccination?

People who aged 3 years old or above and haven’t received the influenza vaccination for this season. Those who received trivalent vaccination, including pregnant women and people with obesity, are also suitable for quadrivalent influenza vaccination.

What are the possible side effects of the influenza vaccine?

In normal circumstances, swelling or soreness may appear at the injection site after vaccination. Some recipients may experience fever or muscle pains, but these discomfort symptoms will not persist for long. Influenza vaccination may be rarely followed by adverse side effects like meningitis or severe allergic reactions, emergency consultation is required for these cases.

Who should not receive influenza vaccination?

People who are seriously allergic to eggs or the vaccine components are not suitable to receive influenza vaccination. If there are any queries, please consult your doctor to assess your suitability for the vaccination.

If you have any query, please call +852 21119518.

The above information is provided by professional doctor, and only used for educational purposes. If you have any discomfort, don’t hesitate to consult a doctor.