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Cold and Flu Center

Types of Flu Shots

by
author image Heather Gloria
Heather Gloria began writing professionally in 1990. Her work has appeared in several professional and peer-reviewed publications including "Nutrition in Clinical Practice." Gloria earned both a Bachelor of Science in food science and human nutrition from the University of Illinois. She also maintains the "registered dietitian" credential and her professional interests include therapeutic nutrition, preventive medicine and women's health.
Types of Flu Shots
Flu vaccine Photo Credit Peter Dazeley/Photographer's Choice/Getty Images

Overview

According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) website, five manufacturers are licensed to produce injectible vaccine (flu shot). Each is marketed under a different brand name with slightly different indications. Although common allergy information is provided here and serious allergic reactions are extremely rare, people with allergies should read the product insert for more detailed information before getting any flu vaccine.

Afluria

Afluria is a seasonal flu vaccine manufactured by CSL Limited. It's available as a 0.25ml single-dose, pre-filled syringe for children six months through 35 months old. For older children and adults, it's available as a 0.5ml single-dose, pre-filled syringe or as a 5ml multi-dose vial containing 10 doses. The single-dose preparations are preservative-free. The multi-dose vial contains approximately 24.5mcg (per dose) mercury as Thimerosol, a mercury compound that functions as a preservative. It's contraindicated in people with known hypersensitivity to eggs or the antibiotics neomycin and polymyxin, or with a history of life-threatening allergic reaction to previous influenza immunization.

Fluarix

Fluarix is a seasonal flu shot manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline. It's available only as a pre-filled, 0.5 ml single-dose syringe for adults and children older than 3. Fluarix doesn't contain Thimerosol. It's contraindicated in people with known hypersensitivity to eggs or natural latex rubber (a component of the syringes), or a history of life-threatening allergic reaction to previous influenza immunization. Antibiotics are not used in the manufacturing of Fluarix.

Fluvirin

Fluvirin is a seasonal flu shot manufactured by Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics Limited. It's available as a 0.5ml pre-filled syringe or as a 5ml multi-dose vial containing 10 doses. It's approved for adults and children 4 years and older. The multi-dose vial contains Thimerosol as a preservative. Each dose from the multi-dose vial contains about 25mcg mercury as Thimerosol. Trace amounts of mercury (less than 1mcg per dose) are also present in the single-dose, pre-filled syringe. Fluvirin is contraindicated in people with known hypersensitivity to eggs, neomycin and polymyxin or a previous history of life-threatening allergic reaction to influenza vaccine.

Flulaval

FluLaval is a seasonal flu shot manufactured by ID Biomedical Corporation, based in Quebec. FluLaval is only available as a 5ml multi-dose vial containing approximately 25mcg mercury per dose. It's approved only for adults 18 years and older. FluLaval should not be given to children. People with a history of egg allergy or previous allergic reaction to the flu vaccine shouldn't take FluLaval. Antibiotics are not used in the manufacture of FluLaval.

Fluzone

Fluzone is a seasonal flu shot manufactured by Sanofi Pasteur Inc. Fluzone and Afluria are the only flu vaccines approved for use in children between 6 months and 3 years old. Fluzone is available in four forms: a pink-stoppered, infant-approved, 0.25ml pre-filled syringe; a 0.5ml pre-filled syringe; a 0.5ml single-dose vial, and a 5ml multi-dose (10-dose) vial. None of the single-dose preparations contain mercury. The multi-dose vial contains 25mcg per dose of mercury as Thimerosol. People with a history of egg allergy or previous allergic reaction to the influenza vaccine should not receive Fluzone. Antibiotics are not used in the preparation of Fluzone.

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