Fluarix Tetra 2021: Inactivated quadrivalent flu vaccine

Fluarix Tetra 2021: Inactivated quadrivalent flu vaccine

Fluarix Tetra vaccine is inactivated influenza vaccine. It is split virion vaccine.

It is tetravalent or quadrivalent vaccine. This vaccine contains 4 types of antigens from influenza virus species. This is vaccine from GSK vaccines.

Lets us details about Fluarix Vaccine: Influenza or H1N1-Flu trivalent vaccine.

Influenza A (H1N1 strain)
15 mcg HA
Influenza A virus (H3N2 strain)
15 mcg HA
Influenza B virus like protein15 mcg HA
Influenza C virus like protein15 mcg HA
Sodium chloride3.75 mg
Disodium phosphate dodecahydrate1.3 mg
Potassium dihydrogen phosphate 0.2 mg
Potassium chloride0.1 mg
Each 0.5 ml dose contains

It also contains other excipients and formaldehyde, gentamicin and egg protein traces.

How is Fluarix Tetra vaccine available?

Fluarix vaccine is available in ready to inject formulation as slightly cloudy liquid form. It is available in a prefilled sterile syringe for injection. Single syringe contains single dose of 0.5 ml.

It is available in a five doses packet. 

The prefilled syringe is kept in an outer carton to protect it from sunlight.

How to store Fluarix Tetra vaccine?

Fluarix vaccine is stored at 2-8 degree Celsius as recommended by the manufacturer. Temperature range is maintained by the cold chain. 

The recommended temperature range is maintained at all stages from manufacturer to the end user.

The vaccine if accidentally frozen should be discarded and not used. The temperature range is maintained at all stages of storage and transport.

Do not use the vaccine, if the temperature range is not maintained.

Discard the damaged vaccine or expired vaccine. Follow all the biomedical waste management protocols while discarding to protect the environment from the damage.

How is Fluarix Tetra vaccine given?

Give the fluarix tetra injection on an anterolateral aspect of thigh in infants and small children. 

Give this injection in the deltoid muscle of the shoulder in older children and adults. 

Follow all the safe injection precautions while giving the injection.. After use the disposables and needles are to be discarded as per the guidelines for biomedical waste management protocols. 

The expired vaccine should be discarded as per BMW protocols so that it is not harmful to the environment

The dose for all above 6 months old is 0.5 ml. It is given as intramuscular injection.

At what age to give the Fluarix Tetra vaccine?

This vaccine is given at age 6 months and second dose at 7 months then one dose is given yearly till 5 years of age. 

Children with chronic pulmonary diseases and those with increased chances of pulmonary infection this dose should be given yearly. 

Those adults who are diabetic and hypertensive and immunosuppressed should get this vaccine yearly. This vaccine is used in pregnancy as there is an increased risk of swine flu during pregnancy.

Below 9 years2 doses 1 month apart

Followed by single dose yearly
Above 9 yearsSingle dose yearly
Fluarix tetra 2021 vaccine schedule

How does the Fluarix Tetra vaccine work?

This vaccine is an inactivated vaccine. It contains split particles of virus. 

This is an active form of immunization. When this vaccine is injected to an individual the antigens in it get inside the body. These antigens are recognized by the immune system of the individuals. The immune system develops mechanisms to fight against the virus and if real infection takes place the immune response is rapidly ramped up and the disease is prevented. 

Only the drawback is influenza virus mutates rapidly and so because of this the new version of vaccine comes yearly. It is needed to be given yearly.

Safety of the vaccine

This vaccine can be co administered with other vaccines and drugs as needed.

Do not mix this vaccine with other vaccines and drugs in the same syringe.

Give another vaccine with a separate syringe if needed.

Give another vaccine at a separate injection site or separate limb if administered at same time.

In the above 50 years age this vaccine can be administered with pneumococcal conjugate vaccine and pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine.

This vaccine is considered as safe in all stages of pregnancy and is given in pregnancy and breastfeeding mothers.

What are side effects of Fluarix Tetra vaccine?

Side effects of this vaccine are usually mild and can be managed at home very easily.

Local pain, redness and swelling
Muscular pain and fatigue
Irritability and crying
Loss of appetite
Vomiting and loose motions
Allergy and anaphylactic reactions
side effects
  • Fever can be there after the vaccination. It can be mild to moderate grade and can be managed at home by paracetamol and sponging. Fever may last for 1-3 days usually reduces with time.
  • Local pain and redness, swelling can come at the injection site. It may last for 1-3 days. It can be easily managed with paracetamol and local cold fomentation.
  • Headache can come in some patients after vaccination. Usually reduces in 1-3 days. This headache can be managed at home with paracetamol.
  • Muscular pain and fatigue seen after this vaccination may last for the 1-3 days. It generally reduces on its own.
  • Irritability and crying may be seen in infants and young children, generally reduced by its own few hours.
  • Loss of appetite may be a side effect seen in some patients, it also decreases by its own in 2-3 days.
  • Few patients may get vomiting and loose motions after this vaccination usually manageable at home with oral rehydration solution. It usually reduces on its own.
  • Allergy and anaphylactic reaction: This is a very rare side effect. The vaccine should not be given to those who are allergic to the component/s of the vaccine. The anaphylactic reaction should be managed very swiftly. The skilled person, necessary drugs and equipment should be available for the management.

What is the difference between Fluarix and Fluarix tetra vaccine?

Fluarix is a trivalent vaccine that protects against 3 strains and Fluarix Tetra is a quadrivalent vaccine that protects against 4 strains of influenza. Fluarix Tetra is more effective as it contains more strains.

To whom this vaccine should not be given?

This vaccine has few contraindications listed a s follows:

Do not give this vaccine to those who are allergic to any of its components.

This vaccine contains traces of egg proteins and gentamicin and formaldehyde. Do not give this vaccine to someone who is known to be allergic to these medications.

Do not give this vaccine to someone who has got a severe allergic or anaphylactic reaction with the previous dose with this vaccine.

Precautions needed with this vaccine

Following precautions are needed with this vaccine:

  • Do not inject this vaccine intravascular as safety and efficacy by this route is not known.
  • Do not give this vaccine to patient known to be allergic o its components like egg proteins, gentamycin and formaldehyde.
  • Take all safety injection precautions while giving the injection.
  • Follow biomedical waste management protocols while discarding the disposables used.
  • Maintain cold chain as indicated by manufacturer.
  • Tell your doctor if patient had episode of any significant illness and GBS in past.
  • Tell your doctor if patient has any previous chronic diseases and on any other medications.
  • The center at which vaccination is given should be ready with medicine and skill to manage the anaphylactic allergic reaction.

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