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How to Pick the Perfect Vaccine for Onsite Flu Shot Clinics

Posted Jun 06 2013 9:16am

Picking So you want to host an on-site flu shot clinic to protect your employees from the flu, eh? Well, I don't blame you! Flu shots are the best way to prevent the flu. But unfortunately things are getting a little more complicated this year with a new wave of flu vaccines hitting the market.  

Recently, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the use of two new flu vaccines for the 2013-14 flu season: Quadrivalent and Flucelvax.

The first is a quadrivalent (four‐virus) flu vaccine, which offer protections against four different influenza viruses: two A viruses and two B viruses. Influenza A and B viruses cause the majority of influenza illness in the United States. Flu vaccines have been used in the U.S. are typically trivalent (three‐virus) vaccines. Trivalent means the vaccine protects against three different influenza viruses: two A viruses and one B virus. Each spring, representatives from various national and world health organizations gather and plan what strains will be in the vaccine for the Northern Hemisphere. This year they selected the following:

* A/California/7/2009 (H1H1) pdm09
* A/Victoria/361/2011 (H3N2)
* B/Massachusetts/2/2012

The other new vaccine is manufactured in a completely new way - using cultured animal cells instead of the conventional process of using fertilized eggs. The cell-based vaccine is just as safe and effective but the technology to manufacture it is more flexible and reliable - it can be produced within weeks instead of months. 

So with all these new options available, how do you know what's best for your on-site corporate flu shot clinic? Consider the following tips:

Budget - the new vaccines do have a higher price tag, so if you have limited funds to spend the traditional flu shot may still be your best bet

Preservative Free - depending on your population you may want to consider going with a flu shot that is preservative free. Both of these new flu shots are formulated without preservatives. The "traditional" flu shot is also available in a preservative free version. 

Biggest Bang for Your Buck - quadrivalent vaccines offer an advantage by protecting against two influenza B strains, plus it is preservative free. 

Now is the time to begin planning your influenza vaccination efforts for the fall. Check out our handy  comparison chart for a quick overview of the eight different vaccines TotalWellness is offering this year. 

Image Credit: Michael Bentley  

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