Chris Ambrose, Senior Director of Medical Affairs at MedImmune, kindly provided this link to an article published in the journal, Human Vaccines & Immunotherapeutics, entitled âThe Rationale for Quadrivalent Influenza Vaccines.' The article is being distributed here with the permission of Human Vaccines & Immunotherapeutics.
There are two antigenically distinct lineages of influenza B viruses, but licensed trivalent seasonal influenza vaccines contain antigens from only a single influenza B virus. This means that the vaccine provides limited immunity against circulating influenza B strains of the lineage not present in the vaccine.
This article suggests that "seasonal influenza vaccines could be improved by inclusion of influenza B strains of both lineages," and that the "resulting quadrivalent influenza vaccines would allow influenza vaccination campaigns to respond more effectively to current global influenza epidemiology." But are these new quadrivalent influenza vaccines safe and effective?