Anofi Pasteur, the vaccine division of Sanofi, launched its four-strain influenza vaccine FluQuadri in India.
FluQuadri will be India’s first quadrivalent vaccine to provide broader protection against influenza to population above 3 years of age, the company said.
The majority of seasonal influenza vaccines currently available are trivalent. They offer protection against two A strains and one single B lineage (B/Victoria or B/Yamagata) of the influenza virus. However, over recent flu seasons, co-circulation of both B lineages has been consistently observed, making it difficult for the World Health Organization (WHO) to recommend which B strain should be incorporated in trivalent influenza vaccines. Given the change in epidemiology, quadrivalent vaccination represent the next logical step.
India has also seen circulation of type B influenza strains. The Integrated Disease Surveillance Program (IDSP) annual report of 2017 stated that in the wake of high number of influenza deaths and cases in Gujarat, an expert committee noted that one of the main reasons of flu epidemic in Gujarat was that during last year, the H3N2 and B subtypes of influenza virus were circulating, but not H1N1, leading to a build-up of the susceptible population.
The WHO includes quadrivalent influenza vaccines in its recommendations.