Influenza or flu is a viral infection which mainly targets the respiratory system. Until 2018, World Health Organization (WHO) has recorded death caused by influenza and pneumonia alone has reached 13,913 cases. This incidence can actually be avoided with flu vaccines such as FluQuadri. FluQuadri is an intramuscular vaccine that contains inactivated influenza. It is created from influenza virus cultivated in embryonated chicken eggs. It is a type of Quadrivalent Influenza Vaccine, meaning it is a flu vaccine containing 4 types of strains which are influenza virus A, B, C and D. This is the most recent influenza vaccine combination strain compared to Vaxigrip which only contains 3 viral subtypes.
When should you get FluQuadri?
Influenza virus is notoriously known for its rapid rate of mutations. Therefore, it is a common practice for influenza vaccines containing viral strains that are more likely to circulate in the next season. WHO and medical professionals globally recommend getting annual flu vaccines around September or October, before Winter. Especially, if you are a frontliner such as medical professionals or teaching staff.
Who can get FluQuadri?
According to MIMS Malaysia, FluQuadri can be given as early as 6 months old infants. The site of injection depends on age group. Children and adults above 1 years of age can be administered on the shoulder (deltoid muscle). While infants aged 6-12 months are usually injected on the right thigh. Here is a table showing recommended doses according to age and its schedule:
|6 months – 35 months old||1-2 dose with 0.25ml each||For the 2 dose regimen, it must be 1 month apart|
|36 months – 8 years old||1-2 dose with 0.50ml each||For the 2 dose regimen, it must be 1 month apart|
|9 years old and above||1 dose, 0.5ml|
|Doses highly dependant according to Malaysia’s Ministry of Health stipulations or prior vaccination history.|
What are FluQuadri side effects?
Similar to any known vaccines, FluQuadri also has its side effects. These includes:
- Bruising and swelling on the injection site
- Muscle or injection site pain
- Redness on injection site
The aforementioned side effect tends to be short-term and not prolonged. However, there are a more worrisome and dangerous side effects such as:
- Blurred vision
- One-sided facial paralysis
- Numbness of the limbs
- Swollen glands
- Body paralysis mainly among patients with Guillain-Barré Syndrome
- Severe allergic reactions
These symptoms affect people differently. However, in the case of serious vaccine side effects from FluQuadri does happen but very rarely. Only 0.5% of the healthy adult population experience severe adverse effects (SAEs).
Who should avoid FluQuadri?
Certain individuals are not eligible or safe to be given this vaccine. Such individuals are:
- Breastfeeding mother
- Pregnant women, though there’s no clear evidence that it causes harm to mother or foetus, patients should consult this with their doctors
- Infants below 6 months old
- Prior history of SAEs from FluQuadri or any flu vaccines
Besides that, there are some instances where a patient should defer taking FluQuadri on another time. This is when:
- Individual have an acute illness with or without fever
- History of immune response problem
- Easily bruised or history of bleeding disorders
- History of Guillain-Barré Syndrome
- Allergic reactions towards egg protein
For those who took life-long or on medications, you may worry about FluQuadri and drug interactions. It is recommended that these issues are properly informed to your nurse, pharmacist or doctor. This includes if you are taking any supplements or traditional medications.
Seasonal or annual vaccination programs may seem like a nuisance. On the other hand, vaccines such as FluQuadri are actually important in preventing further disease transmission. Moreover, it helps those who are unable to get vaccinated such as immunocompromised patients or infants. It also helps reduce burden towards the healthcare system during this trying month. Therefore, FluQuadri actually protects you and the people around you.
It’s advisable to take Covid 19 Vaccine.