Research in the journal Vaccine indicates that an intradermal quadrivalent influenza vaccine offers greater antibody response to the B lineage strains compared to a trivalent vaccine.

Geoffrey Gorse, MD, professor of internal medicine in the division of infectious diseases at Saint Louis University, and colleagues conducted a randomized, double-blind, multicenter trial evaluating the safety and immunogenicity of an intradermal quadrivalent split-virion influenza vaccine (IIV4-ID), which contains both lineages of the B strain. The 3,355 participants (between 18–64 years odd age) in the U.S. during the 2012–2013 influenza season were randomized to receive IIV4-ID, intradermal (ID), trivalent split-virion influenza vaccine (IIV3-ID), or an investigational IIV3-ID containing an alternate B-lineage strain. Hemagglutination inhibition antibody titers were evaluated in two-thirds of the study participants prior to vaccination and 28 days post-vaccination.

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Antibody responses to IIV4-D were statistically non-inferior to the response to the IIV3-ID vaccines containing the matched strains. However, antibody responses to IIV4-ID were statistically superior to the responses to IIV3-ID lacking the corresponding B strain post-vaccination for both B strains. The IIV4-D did not weaken immunogenicity to the A lineage strains in the vaccine.

The quadrivalent influenza vaccine could be an important means of providing additional protection against influenza based on these results, the authors note.

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