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News: Prescriber's Letter October 2013
You'll see three new versions of the flu vaccine this season...quadrivalent, cell culture, and recombinant vaccines.
   Quadrivalent vaccines protect against 4 flu virus strains instead of the usual 3...to provide more coverage.
   FluMist now comes in ONLY a quadrivalent version...and is still a noninjectable option for healthy, nonpregnant patients ages 2 to 49.
   Fluarix, FluLaval, and Fluzone will come in BOTH quadrivalent and trivalent versions. All the other flu shots will be trivalent this year.
   Feel comfortable giving either version. Only about 20% of this season's supply will be quadrivalent...and it'll cost up to $6 more/dose.
   If you have quadrivalent vaccine, consider using it for kids and teens...they tend to be harder hit by the two "B" strains it covers. But don't postpone vaccination while waiting for the quadrivalent.
   Some trivalent vaccines are now grown in cell cultures instead of eggs. These can be made faster...and contain little or no egg protein.
   Flucelvax is a cell culture vaccine...approved just for adults.
   But it's NOT guaranteed egg-free...it may contain TRACE amounts of egg protein because the original "seed" viruses are grown in eggs.
   To be safe, don't give it to patients with a severe egg allergy. 

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