Fans of the HBO series Game of Thrones are familiar with the phrase “winter is coming.” And if winter is coming, so is our annual influenza outbreak. It usually starts in the fall and continues through early spring, but is always present in the winter.
This year, providers caring for children under the age of 3 years have two options for an approved flu vaccine: Fluzone and Flulaval. Dosing is different, however. For Fluzone, a child under age 3 should receive 0.25 cc and for Flulaval, 0.5 cc, which is the adult dose as well. Both vaccines have the same amount of antigen in a 0.5 cc dose. This means a toddler getting Flulaval gets twice the dose of antigen as compared to a child receiving Fluzone. A concern with the bigger dose is that it might be more reactogenic. On the other hand, it might result in higher antibody levels.
What does the CDC say?
1. According to the CDC, which of the following is true with regard to flu vaccination in the 6- to 36-month age range?
A. 0.5 cc of Flulaval is both more reactogenic and immunogenic than 0.25 cc of Fluzone.
B. Both vaccines have a similar side effect profile and immunologic response.
C. Both vaccines have a similar side effect profile but Flulaval had a better immunologic response.
D. Flulaval was more reactogenic and had an equivalent immunological response.
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CDC’s 2017-18 flu season recommendations
Grohskopf LA, Sokolow LZ, Broder KR, et al. Prevention and Control of Seasonal Influenza with Vaccines: Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices — United States, 2017–18 Influenza Season. MMWR Recomm Rep 2017;66(No. RR-2):1–20. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.rr6602a1
FDA report on Flulaval