St. Louis College of Pharmacy
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Contact: Brad Brown
Director, Public Relations
Cell: (314) 691-3130

Two New Versions of the Flu Vaccine Arriving Soon

Published on 30 August 2014

 For the first time, there will be a vaccine which protects against four strains of the flu virus. Until now, flu vaccines have only protected against three forms of the virus.

Each year, scientists choose what they believe will be the three most common forms of the flu to spread during the winter months, and they incorporate them into the annual vaccine. This year’s new vaccine containing four varieties has those three flu forms and an additional version of the virus.

“The real need for the vaccine with four flu viruses comes if that additional virus begins to circulate,” says Clark Kebodeaux, Pharm.D., BCACP, assistant professor of pharmacy practice at St. Louis College of Pharmacy. “At this early point, it’s not certain what types of flu will cause the most illnesses.”

Vaccines will be available through two forms of injections and a nasal spray.

“If parents want to ensure that their children receive the new style of vaccine, ask for a nasal spray instead of an injection,” Kebodeaux says. “The four strain vaccine is available by injection as well, but some injections only include the three strain vaccine. Going forward after this year, we’ll know if the additional protection is necessary.”

Adults with egg allergies have a new option as well.  An egg-free version of the vaccine is available, but it is only for adults ages 18 to 49.

Kebodeaux adds that older adults, and those with chronic conditions like diabetes and asthma, need to receive an injection as soon as the vaccines arrive. The high-dose version of the vaccine for older adults protects against three versions of the flu virus.

“I encourage everyone to get any version of the flu vaccine,” Kebodeaux says. “There will be plenty for everyone."

About St. Louis College of Pharmacy: For more than 150 years, St. Louis College of Pharmacy has been committed to educating the best pharmacists in the United States. The region’s only independent college of pharmacy, St. Louis College of Pharmacy is the third oldest continuously operating and 10th largest college of pharmacy in America. The student body is comprised of 1,400 students, 40 percent of which are minority or multicultural. The students come to the College from 31 states and 10 countries. The College admits students directly from high school and accepts transfer students and graduates from other colleges and universities in the sophomore and junior years of the undergraduate program and the first year of the professional program. Students earn a Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) with an integrated Bachelor of Science degree in a seven-year curriculum. An education at the College opens up the world to graduates for a career in a wide range of practice settings. Graduates have a 100 percent job placement rate. The campus is transforming to better fit the needs of students, faculty, and staff. This summer, a new six-story, 213,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art academic and research building opened. Construction is underway for a seven-story student center, residence hall, and recreation facility scheduled for completion in December 2016. When not in class, students can participate in more than 60 organizations, fraternities, intramurals, and sports. The College competes in 12 NAIA Division I sports. College alumni practice throughout the nation and in 13 different countries, providing a strong network to assist students with their goals. Additional information is available at