New flu vaccine may provide more protection

Quadrivalent vaccine designed to protect against additional B-strain


SAN ANTONIO – With the first reported case of flu in San Antonio, parents are already lining up to get their children vaccinated.

Pediatrician Dr. Patricia Oliver said patients can't get the flu from the mist, but they can get a flu like reaction.

Oliver also pointed out not everyone can get the mist. Those who are eligible have some benefits to consider.

"We do know the flu mist is more effective against type A strains. It is a live virus vaccine, when we give it to young children, they have a very robust immune response and so they tend to respond better if they're faced with influenza during the season," Oliver said.

There is a new flu vaccine to consider this year, in addition to the trivalent version which is designed to protect against two A strains and the 2012 B strain, there is a quadrivalent vaccine which protects against the same 3 strains plus the 2008 B strain.

According to Assistant Director of Communicable Disease for the Metropolitan Health District, Anil Mangla, the flu mist will only be available in the quadrivalent formula.

The injection will be available in both the trivalent and quadrivalent formulas, but at this time many pediatricians offices only have the tri.

Many parents are wondering whether they should wait for the quad or get vaccinated now with the tri.

"The current American Academy of Pediatrics recommendation is to not push one over the other. The main thing is because the shot, quadrivalent is hard to find right now, mainly a distribution problem," Oliver said.

"Our recommendation is, vaccine is a preventative measure for flu, get vaccinated and get vaccinated as soon as possible before the flu season starts," Mangla said.

As for the studies that reveal the efficacy of one vaccine over another, we'll have to wait until next year.

For a list of recent stories April Molina has done, click here.