WHAT SHOULD I KNOW ABOUT FLUCELVAX® QUAD?

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FLUCELVAX® QUAD is used in adults and children 2 years and older to prevent influenza, often called "the flu."

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The National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) encourages annual influenza vaccination for all Canadians who are able to have the vaccine.

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Vaccination against influenza is recommended every year, for anyone wanting to lower their chance of catching influenza.

How does
FLUCELVAX® QUAD work?

FLUCELVAX® QUAD vaccine works by helping your body to protect itself against infection by the types of influenza viruses that are in the vaccine. The vaccine stimulates the body to make substances called antibodies.

Antibodies fight the influenza virus.

If you have been vaccinated, when you come into contact with the influenza viruses in the vaccine, your body is usually able quickly to destroy the virus, which may prevent you from getting influenza.

As with all vaccines, 100% protection cannot be guaranteed.

Influenza is caused by infection with specific influenza viruses. New types of influenza viruses can appear each year. FLUCELVAX® QUAD vaccine contains fragments of four different types of influenza virus. Each year the World Health Organization decides which four types of viruses are most suitable to include in the vaccine.

You cannot catch influenza from the vaccine, as the virus in the vaccine has been killed and split into small non-infectious particles.

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  • FLUCELVAX® QUAD is not made using eggs; therefore, there are no egg proteins in the vaccine.
  • FLUCELVAX® QUAD is made using cell culture, an alternative method of vaccine production that is available since 2012.
  • The syringe and vial components do not contain latex. FLUCELVAX® QUAD is considered safe for use in persons with latex allergies.
  • FLUCELVAX® QUAD pre-filled syringes contain no preservatives or antibiotics.
  • FLUCELVAX® QUAD multi-dose vial formulation contains a preservative, but does not contain any antibiotics.

WHAT SHOULD YOU DISCUSS WITH YOUR DOCTOR?

Do not use FLUCELVAX® QUAD if:

  • Your child is under 2 years of age. FLUCELVAX® QUAD vaccine is only approved for use in children aged 2 years and older.
  • You or your child have or have had an allergy to FLUCELVAX® QUAD or any of its ingredients.

To help avoid side effects and ensure proper use, talk to your healthcare professional before you take FLUCELVAX® QUAD. Talk about any health conditions or problems you may have, including if you or your child:

  • have or have had a reaction to vaccination with any of the following:
    • severe allergic reaction
    • difficulty breathing
    • swelling of the throat
    • fainting or collapse
    • fits or convulsions
    • high temperature (greater than 38.5°C)
    • severe skin reaction at the injection site, including severe bruising
  • have an infection or temperature higher than 38.5°C. Your doctor may decide to delay vaccination until the illness has passed. A minor illness such as a cold is not usually a reason to delay vaccination.
  • have low immunity due to treatment with certain medicines
  • have or have had Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS), an illness which affects the nervous system and causes paralysis.
  • have allergies to other medicines or substances
  • are pregnant or breastfeeding. Your healthcare professional will be able to discuss the potential risks and benefits of having FLUCELVAX® QUAD while you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Tell your healthcare professional about all the medicines you take, including any drugs, vitamins, minerals, natural supplements or alternative medicines.

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How do you take FLUCELVAX® QUAD?

How FLUCELVAX® QUAD is given:

FLUCELVAX® QUAD is given as an injection into a muscle, usually in the upper arm.

Usual dose:

FLUCELVAX® QUAD is given once every year as follows:

  • Adults and children 2 years and over: one injection of 0.5 mL.
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Overdose:

If you think you have been given too many doses of FLUCELVAX® QUAD or have been given it by mistake, contact your healthcare professional, hospital emergency department or regional poison control centre immediately, even if there are no symptoms.

What are some of the possible side effects from using FLUCELVAX® QUAD?

Tell your doctor if you or your child have side effects that bother you, including:

  • Injection-site pain, reddening, hardening or swelling
  • Headache
  • Muscle or joint pain
  • Tiredness
  • Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Bruising
  • Shivering

Children may also experience the following common side effect:

  • Fever

If you experience either of these rare serious side effects, talk to your healthcare professional:

  • Anaphylaxis: Difficulty breathing, dizziness, a weak and rapid pulse, skin rash.
  • Allergic reaction: Rash, itching or hives on the skin, swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or other parts of the body.

REPORTING SUSPECTED SIDE EFFECTS

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For the general public: Should you experience a side effect following immunization, please report it to your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist.

Should you require information related to the management of the side effect, please contact your healthcare provider. The Public Health Agency of Canada, Health Canada and Seqirus cannot provide medical advice.

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