Food and Drug Administration approved the first vaccine that treats all four strains of the influenza virus, and some experts believe that it could become the default treatment for children.
FDA announced its decision about FluMist Quadrivalent Feb. 29. The nasal-spray vaccine is designed to treat both strains of influenza B, whereas existing vaccines treat only one strain (as well as both strains of influenza A).
As a result of the new vaccine, medical officials no longer have to predict which strain of influenza B will circulate in a given flu season, says Lisa Grohskopf of Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
Although FluMist Quadrivalent is approved for use by individuals ages 2−49, the new vaccine could become the preferred treatment for children once it is released, says Dr. Flor Munoz of Texas Children’s Hospital. Influenza B strains can affect young children in particular, because children have had less exposure to the virus strains than adults have.
It’s uncertain when the vaccine will hit the market.
– K. Fanuko