Difference Between Influenza Vaccine Trivalent Form and Tetravalent Form

Edited by Diffzy | Updated on: April 30, 2023


Difference Between Influenza Vaccine Trivalent Form and Tetravalent Form

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The procedure of protecting a person against illnesses and infections that might potentially be fatal is referred to as vaccination. To stimulate a robust secondary antibody response, in the long run, vaccination works based on giving an antigen to a person, either in a form that has been killed by heat or one that is alive but attenuated. In the long term, the effects of illness or infection-producing antigens (against which a person has previously been vaccinated) are neutralized by the secondary antibodies that are generated.

The influenza vaccination is one example of a vaccine that has widespread application. A yearly immunization against different strains of the influenza virus is provided by the influenza vaccine, sometimes known as the "Flu-Shot." This vaccination is administered under the popular name "Flu-Shot." There are two varieties of vaccination that can protect against influenza: the trivalent flu vaccine and the trivalent flu vaccine.

Both of these groups get their names from the types of influenza virus against which they provide protection. The trivalent formulation protects three distinct strands of the influenza virus: influenza A virus (H3N2), influenza A virus (H1N1), and one distinct strand of the influenza B virus. The tetravalent form, on the other hand, protects against not only the strains of influenza B virus covered by the trivalent form but also an extra strain not protected by the trivalent form.

The tetravalent form is used as a live attenuated form, while the trivalent form is an antigen that has been rendered inert by the application of heat. In addition to the geographic areas covered, the vaccinations also vary in terms of their efficacy and the profile of side effects they cause.

Influenza Vaccine Trivalent Form vs Tetravalent Form

The main difference between the tetravalent and trivalent forms of the influenza vaccine is that the trivalent form protects against three distinct strains of the influenza virus, namely influenza A virus (H3N2), influenza A virus (H1N1), and one strain of influenza B virus, and the form of usage is dead and inactivated. The tetravalent form, on the other hand, protects against four distinct strains of the influenza virus. Whereas the tetravalent form protects against four different strains of the influenza virus, including H3N2, the H1N1 strain of the influenza A virus, and two different strains of the B virus.

A trivalent influenza vaccine, also known as a trivalent influenza shot, is a synthetic flu vaccination that is made up of three weakened or killed influenza viruses. These viruses include two distinct strains of influenza type A as well as one strain of influenza type B. A trivalent influenza vaccine is also known as a trivalent influenza shot. Each year, a vaccination strategy for influenza that protects against three different strains of the virus is established. This strategy is based on the influenza viruses that are anticipated to be widespread throughout the next flu season. This chemical might be manufactured for intravenous or nasal administration.

Quadrivalent influenza (flu) vaccine is another term for trivalent influenza immunization. It is designed to protect against four different types of influenza virus, including the A and B strains of the influenza virus. As a result of the constant mutation of influenza viruses, the majority of influenza vaccines administered in the United States in 2021-2022 will be quadrivalent. Vaccination has been given the green light for children of varying ages. There is a quadrivalent influenza vaccination that may be given to children as early as six months old. The Flucelvax Quadrivalent vaccine may now legally be administered to children older than 2 years old.

Difference Between Influenza Vaccine Trivalent Form and Tetravalent Form in Tabular Form

Parameters of Comparison Trivalent Form Tetravalent Form
Coverage  There are two unique strains of influenza type A, in addition to one strain of influenza type B.  It is designed to protect against four different types of influenza virus, including A and B strains of the influenza virus.
Antibody Response  A version of the influenza vaccination that is less effective than the tetravalent formulation.  A more extensive version than the trivalent one.
State of Antibody  The vaccine contains a minute concentration of a strain of influenza that has been destroyed by heat and is now inactive.   The vaccine contains a minute quantity of a live but attenuated strain of the influenza virus.
Target Population 6 months old or older than that. 2 years or older.
Dosage  Intramuscular booster dosing route. Intranasal route.

What is  Influenza Vaccine Trivalent Form ?

You probably started getting vaccinated against influenza when you were a young child, namely when you were 6 months old. At that age, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises that children begin receiving the yearly vaccination. The vaccination that you have been receiving for such a long time has not undergone significant revisions until recent times when a quadrivalent formulation became available.

A biology lecture should be the first order of business. Vaccines against the flu protect against both the A and B types of the virus. The influenza A virus may be passed from human to human as well as animal to animal, and it is the A virus that is often to blame for large-scale flu outbreaks. B-strains, on the other hand, are not contagious to other animals, often result in less severe responses, and do not create pandemics.

In contrast, there are only two strains of the B virus, but the A strain is continually changing and difficult to anticipate. There are hundreds of A strains. The trivalent vaccine protects against three distinct strains of influenza virus: the two most prevalent A strains (H1N1 and H3N2), as well as one B strain (either Massachusetts or Brisbane), depending on which strain is anticipated to have the most impact on the general population in a particular year.

The influenza virus causes a highly contagious illness that strikes a disproportionately high number of people during the months of late fall and early spring each year. This illness causes those who get it to be absent from work and school and, in some instances, to be hospitalized. However, there are two types of flu vaccinations: trivalent, as well as quadrivalent, and this section of the article will discuss the trivalent version. The use of vaccines against the influenza virus is the quickest and most effective technique to treat the illness.

The trivalent formulation protects against three distinct strains of the influenza virus: influenza A virus (H3N2), influenza A virus (H1N1), and influenza B virus (H1N1). It is more common to use the trivalent form of the influenza vaccine as opposed to the tetravalent form. This is because the trivalent vaccine has a more concentrated effect, and the mass production of this vaccine has made it easier and simpler to apply it diversely to a larger population without any errors.

Getting vaccinated against influenza with a trivalent vaccine is still recommended once per year for anybody aged 6 months or older. The trivalent type of the influenza vaccine is still frequently used in underdeveloped and third world nations, although all influenza vaccines sold in the United States today are quadrivalent. Vaccination components specific to the Influenza A (H3N2) and Influenza A (H1N1) viruses have, as expected, been updated in anticipation of the influenza season of 2021–22.

What is Influenza Vaccine Tetravalent form?

Vaccines against influenza (the flu) stimulate the production of antibodies in the body around two weeks after immunization. These antibodies provide protection against infection brought on by the viruses that are necessary for the production of vaccines. Getting vaccinated against the seasonal flu protects you against the strains of influenza that scientists believe will be the most widespread throughout the next flu season. The following is a list of links that will take you to more detailed information on the many kinds of flu vaccines that are now available.

The tetravalent influenza vaccination is another synthetic vaccine with a preventative immunizing function. It is made up of membrane protein (HA) antigens that were produced from four dormant flu strains, including two unique influenzas A strains and two distinct influenza type B strains.

Every year, a quadrivalent influenza vaccine, also known as QIV, is developed by basing its components on the viral illnesses that are anticipated to be prevalent during the next flu season. After injection, the QIV provides active immunization against each of the four different strains of influenza virus, therefore avoiding influenza sickness.

Influenza Tetravalent vaccines have been used to protect against all four distinct influenza viruses (commonly known as flu). The vaccine is effective because it stimulates the production of antibodies, which are the body's natural defenses, against four unique strains of the influenza virus. Each year, new strains of the influenza virus are discovered, and the tetravalency table is revised to include components of these newly discovered viruses. As a consequence of this, being vaccinated against influenza each year is strongly recommended.

The tetravalent influenza vaccine produces humoral reactions against hemagglutinins and is manufactured in the same manner as the trivalent influenza vaccine. Even though the tetravalent vaccination protects against a greater variety of strains, the underlying mechanism remains the same.

Inactivated vaccines are the most common kind of tetravalent influenza vaccination. These vaccines include just the components of four different virus strains that are essential for protection against influenza. A live vaccination that contains attenuated vaccine viruses derived from each of the four strains of the virus is also available. Vaccines against the flu come in a variety of pharmacological forms, and the age ranges for which each one is approved are also distinct. Vaccinations that have been inactivated are given to patients through injection, while attenuated live vaccines are given to patients via nasal spray. The live vaccination is only permitted to be administered to children and teenagers who are two to seventeen years of age.

In addition, vaccination against influenza is now on the market for this season. For this vaccine, the viral strains are grown in cell cultures rather than in chicken eggs, and then the viruses are inactivated, purified, and utilized as components of the vaccine. Those with serious sensitivities to the proteins found in chicken eggs and eggs might benefit from it tremendously. People who have only minor symptoms in response to the ingestion of chicken protein are candidates for a vaccination with any of the influenza vaccines that are currently licensed.

Main Differences Between Influenza Vaccine Trivalent Form and Tetravalent Form In Points

  • The trivalent influenza vaccination does not include a live virus, while the tetravalent vaccine does contain a live virus, although one that has been attenuated.
  • The tetravalent form has resistance against 4 strains of the virus, but the trivalent form only has resistance against 3 strains of the virus.
  • The trivalent form may be administered to people who are at least 6 months old, while the tetravalent form can be administered to humans who are at least 2 years old.
  • When compared to the variegated tetravalent form, the trivalent form's effectiveness is much lower.
  • The influenza trivalent form does not carry a risk of severe influenza, however, the influenza tetravalent dose has a risk of a milder version of the illness, which manifests as a fever.
  • At the injection site, the trivalent form has the potential to elicit adverse effects such as discomfort, redness, and swelling.
  • The tetravalent dose of the live vaccination makes it a less safe option than its trivalent counterpart.
  • In the trivalent formulation, there is no risk of acute influenza; however, in the tetravalent formulation, there is a substantial risk of acute influenza since the viruses are given in the live form.
  • There is a possibility of an adverse response for young children who have not previously been exposed to the influenza vaccination. On the other hand, there is a possibility of an unfavorable reaction for any person who has not previously been exposed to the influenza vaccine.


Both of these groups are named after the different strains of influenza against which they provide resistance. The influenza vaccine available in its trivalent form offers protection against three distinct strains of the influenza virus: influenza A viral (H3N2), influenza A virus (H1N1), and influenza B virus (H1N1). The influenza vaccine available in its tetravalent form offers protection against four distinct strains of the influenza B virus, in addition to those offered by the trivalent form. In contrast, the tetravalent form is a live antigen, whereas the trivalent form is a vaccine that has been inactivated.


  1. https://www.cdc.gov/flu/prevent/flushot.htm#:~:text=Influenza%20(flu)%20vaccines%20(often,a%20nasal%20spray%20flu%20vaccine.
  2. https://www.cancer.gov/publications/dictionaries/cancer-drug/def/trivalent-influenza-vaccine


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"Difference Between Influenza Vaccine Trivalent Form and Tetravalent Form." Diffzy.com, 2023. Tue. 06 Jun. 2023. <https://www.diffzy.com/article/difference-between-influenza-vaccine-trivalent-form-and-309>.

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