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This year Med Care Medical Center is offering the Quadrivalent (4 Strain) flu shot. The four strain vaccine, which protects against four types of influenza–two viruses from the A class and two from the B class–does as good a job of protecting against flu. However, the three-strain shot, is even better at preventing the moderate to severe disease compared to the three strain immunization.

Researchers described their findings in the New England Journal of Medicine, attributed the 4-strain vaccine’s effectiveness to the fact that it contained two of the circulating B types of influenza. Previous years in which only one of the B strains was included, immunizations had a 50/50 chance of being mismatched to the circulating virus, reducing its effectiveness.

Four strain vaccines are about 60% effective protecting against flu. More important, the quadrivalent shot was shown to be 70% effective in preventing more serious cases of the flu; most of the children who did get the flu after getting vaccinated showed mild symptoms. The four-strain shot also resulted in 69% fewer medical visits, 75% fewer hospitalizations, 77% fewer absences from school, and 61% fewer parent absences from work.

Staying vaccinated will greatly reduce your risk of getting the flu and reduce the time it takes to get back to feeling better.