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About Flu Vaccines

About Flu Vaccines

What are flu vaccinations?

Flu Vaccinations are one of the simplest and most effective ways of protecting your health, productivity and peace of mind against influenza which is an unpleasant illness which can lead to many complications.
The flu vaccination cuts the risk of ‘flu by approximately 70-80% and reduces time off work from colds and flu by forty-three per cent. Each winter, up to one-third of British adults may suffer from flu, and one-third of sufferers become ill enough to visit their doctor.

We recommend the flu vaccination for all individuals who are proactively trying to stop the spread amongst family, friends and colleagues this upcoming winter.

What is the difference between a Trivalent and a Quadrivalent vaccine?

Every flu season there are different flu strains that circulate. Flu strains can mutate which is why the composition of flu vaccinations change every year.

In advance of each flu season, the World Health Organisation (WHO) uses all available laboratory data from around the world to predict the likely predominating strains and to direct vaccine manufacturers on the best choice of strains to include in their vaccines.
In the past, vaccine manufacturers were only able to include three strains in each season’s vaccine (Trivalent vaccines). The trivalent vaccine includes two types of flu A strain and one of flu B, while the Quadrivalent includes two types of A and two B strains (available since 2013).

A number of manufacturers have started to produce Quadrivalent vaccines, covering all four strains. During the 2018-2019 flu season the following strains included in the vaccinations are:

  • A/Michigan/45/2015 (H1N1)pdm09–like virus, up
  • A/Singapore/INFIMH-16-0019/2016 (H3N2)-like virus
  • B/Colorado/06/2017–like virus (Victoria lineage)

Quadrivalent influenza vaccines will contain these three viruses and an additional influenza B vaccine virus:

  • B/Phuket/3073/2013–like virus (Yamagata lineage)

How effective are flu vaccines?

Now that the Northern Hemisphere flu season has passed, we know the predominating strains in the UK were the second and fourth strains from the above list: the H3N2 and the B/Yamagata like B/Phuket strains.

The Quadrivalent vaccine has proved to be partially effective against the H3N2 strain, but highly effective against the 4th strain, which is caused by approximately 60% of clinical cases. The number of cases that occurred in the UK approached “outbreak” levels, and certainly caused significant concern – which raised questions about whether the Quadrivalent vaccine should have been used more widely in the NHS and at a national level. As a result of the 2017 /2018 season, the Public Health England has made the following recommendations for this year:

  • Quadrivalent vaccinations to be offered to 6 months – 64-year-olds.
  • Nasal spray quadrivalent vaccines (needle-free alternative) offered to those under 18’s from 2 years old.
  • Adjuvanted trivalent for all those aged 65 and over.

Read notice from Public Health England here.

Flu is unpredictable and it is impossible to know which strains will circulate each season and so we have to use our best judgement about which vaccines to offer. Vaccination still remains the best defence against flu. At the Fleet Street Clinic, we have consistently supported the use of the Quadrivalent vaccine, on the basis that it significantly increases the probability of good protection.

When do you have a flu vaccine?

The flu vaccine is normally given as early as possible in the Autumn, and protection lasts throughout the Winter and beyond. Due to the mutation, “drift”, and other changes in the circulating viral strains, new vaccines are generally needed each year for optimum protection.

What flu vaccine would you recommend?

Alongside Public Health England, to ensure you have the best level of protection available our recommendations for this year are as follows:

  • Adults:

For those aged 65 and over: FLUAD® – Adjuvanted Trivalent flu jab
For those aged 18 – 64 years old: 
the Quadrivalent flu jab 

  • Children:

Children are also recommended the Quadrivalent flu jab, however, there are two ways of administrating the flu jab.
Quadrivalent flu jab, which is administered with a needle, is available for those aged 6 months upwards.
The nasal spray quadrivalent vaccine is a needle-free alternative and is available to those aged 2 to under 18’s.

The Fleet Street clinic has been at the forefront of recommending the 4-strain Quadrivalent flu vaccination to patients since its introduction to the market. Whether you are an individual or representing a corporate client or a parent seeking a flu vaccination for you and your family we are committed to offering you the broadest and best choice of flu vaccinations.


For individuals, we operate a prompt walk-in vaccination service. In line with the WHO guidance, we will be operating a Quadrivalent Vaccine and FluAd Vaccine only service, meaning every single one of our patients will have the highest level of protection against this year’s flu strains.

– 29 Fleet Street, London, EC4Y1AA



For companies and organizations, the potential benefits are even greater than the benefits to the individual: respiratory viruses can spread easily within any large group of people, working together and sharing facilities on the same site. It is to everyone’s advantage that as many people as possible within the same organization should be protected.

Ways to get in touch…


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