Canada Approves Cell-Based Quadrivalent Influenza Vaccine

Flucelvax Quad vaccine protects people against influenza virus strains A(H3N2), A(H1N1) and two B virus strains
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Canada (Vax Before Travel)

Seqirus announced that its cell-based quadrivalent influenza vaccine (QIVc) has received approval from Health Canada for use in people 9 years of age and older.

According to Seqirus, Health Canada's approval was on the basis of immunogenicity and safety of the QIVc compared to a cell-based trivalent influenza vaccine.

Announced on December 11, 2019, the vaccine, known as Flucelvax® Quad, offers protection against 4 influenza virus strains — A(H3N2), A(H1N1), and two B virus strains.

Recently published real-world effectiveness studies have suggested cell-based vaccines offer improved effectiveness over egg-manufactured vaccines during seasons that are dominated by H3N2 strains.

During the 2018-19 flu season, Canada saw more than 39,000 cases of seasonal influenza. In an average flu season, 12,000 Canadians will be hospitalized and 3,500 Canadians will die.

Despite the severity of the consequences of influenza, only 38.3 percent of Canadians received their seasonal influenza vaccine in the 2017-18 flu season.

According to the Government of Canada, vaccination is still the most effective way to protect against the flu and flu-related complications.

"Cell-based vaccines are currently being used in the United States, Australia and across Europe. In those countries with Flucelvax Quad, data related to the vaccine's effectiveness is encouraging," says Dr. Rupesh Chawla, Pediatric Infectious Disease Specialist. 

"Influenza continues to have a large impact on our health system, so it's promising to have a new vaccine option that will be able to benefit Canadians for years to come."

Influenza is a common, highly contagious infectious disease that can cause severe illness and life-threatening complications in many people. Influenza can lead to clinical symptoms varying from mild to moderate respiratory illness to severe complications, hospitalization, and in some cases death. 

Because airborne or touch transmission to others may occur one day before symptoms develop and up to 5 to 7 days after becoming sick, the disease is highly contagious.

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Seqirus is part of CSL Limited, headquartered in Melbourne, Australia. The CSL Group of companies employs more than 20,000 people with operations in more than 60 countries.

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Article by
Dani Reiter