Difference Between Influenza Vaccine Trivalent Form and Tetravalent Form

Vaccination is the procedure of immunizing a person against infections and illnesses that might be fatal. Vaccination is based on the administration of an antigen, whether heat destroyed or live attenuated, to generate a powerful secondary immune reaction in the future.

The mechanisms of vaccines are quite similar however, there are influenza doses that differ from a scientific and composition point of study. So, this article will help you elucidate and understand the standard differences between the trivalent and tetravalent forms of an influenza vaccine.

Influenza Vaccine Trivalent Form vs Tetravalent Form

The main difference between influenza vaccine trivalent and tetravalent form 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. Whereas the tetravalent form provides shielding against four strains of influenza virus; H3N2, influenza A virus (H1N1), and two strains of B virus.

Influenza Vaccine Trivalent vs Tettravalent form

A synthetic flu vaccination made up of three weakened or killed influenza viruses, of two distinct influenza type A strains as well as one influenza type B strain, is known as a trivalent influenza vaccine or trivalent influenza shot.

Every year, a trivalent influenza vaccination plan is developed based on influenza viruses expected to be common throughout following influenza and flu season. This substance might be produced for injection or nasal use.

Quadrivalent influenza (flu) vaccine is another name for tetravalent influenza vaccination. It’s made to guard against four distinct flu viruses, comprising two influenza virus strains A and B.

In the United States, most flu vaccinations for the 2021-2022 year are quadrivalent due to the evolution of influenza viruses. Vaccination for different ages has been authorized.

A quadrivalent flu vaccine is available for kids as young as six months of age. Flucelvax Quadrivalent is now licensed for use in children aged 2 and above.

Comparison Table Between Influenza Vaccine Trivalent Form and Tetravalent Form

Parameters of ComparisonTrivalent FormTetravalent Form 
CoverageTwo distinct influenza type A strains as well as one influenza type B strain.It’s made to guard from four distinct flu viruses, comprising two influenza virus strains A and B.
Antibody ResponseLesser than the tetravalent form of Influenza vaccine.More than the trivalent form.
State of AntibodyThe concentration of minute influenza strain in the vaccine is heat killed or inactive.The concentration of minute influenza strain in the vaccine is live and attenuated.
Target Population6 months old or older than that.2 years or older.
DosageIntramuscular booster dosage route.Intranasal route.

What is  Influenza Vaccine Trivalent Form ?

Influenza is a highly dangerous sickness that predominantly affects a high population every year from late autumn to early spring, causing affected individuals to miss work and school, and in certain cases, to be hospitalized. The usage of vaccines against the influenza virus is the shortest and smartest way to deal with the sickness, however, there are 2 kinds of flu vaccines: trivalent, as well as quadrivalent, and this part of the article will talk about the trivalent form.

The trivalent form protects against 3 flu virus varieties: influenza A virus (H3N2), influenza A virus (H1N1), as well as influenza B virus (H1N1). The use of the trivalent form of influenza vaccine is more common than the tetravalent form because of the concentrated effect and the mass production of this vaccine made it easier and simpler to diversely apply it on a larger population without any mishaps.

Trivalent vaccination against influenza is still suggested every year for everybody aged 6 months and up. In the U.S, all influenza vaccines nowadays are quadrivalent; however, the trivalent form is still widely used in developing and third world countries.

New influenza A (H3N2) and influenza A (H1N1) virus vaccination components have indeed been added to the preparations for 2021–22.

What is Influenza Vaccine Tetravalent form ?

The tetravalent influenza vaccination is another synthetic vaccine with preventive immunizing action made up of membrane protein (HA) antigens generated from four inactive flu strains, two distinct influenzas A strains, and 2 distinct influenza type B strains. Each year, a quadrivalent influenza vaccine (QIV) is formed based on viral diseases expected to be common throughout the forthcoming flu season.

The QIV offers active immunization against the four flu virus strains after injection, preventing influenza illness. Influenza Tetravalent vaccinations have been used to protect against four different strains of influenza (commonly known as flu).

The vaccination works by inducing the body’s natural defenses (antibodies) towards 4 distinct strains of influenza viruses. Annually, new varieties of influenza viruses emerge, and the tetravalency is updated to include pieces of these new viruses.

As a result, influenza vaccination is advised every year. The tetravalent flu shot generates humoral responses against hemagglutinins and is made in the same way as the trivalent influenza vaccines are; although the tetravalent covers a wider strain range, the mechanism overall is the same.

Main Differences Between Influenza Vaccine Trivalent Form and Tetravalent Form

  1. The trivalent vaccine does not have a live influenza virus in it whereas the tetravalent vaccine has a live attenuated virus in it.
  2. The trivalent form has 3 strain virus resistance whereas the tetravalent form has 4 strain virus resistance.
  3. The trivalent form is applicable to humans of 6 months old or older but tetravalent is applicable to anyone above 2 years of age.
  4. The trivalent form is less effective when compared to the variegated tetravalent form.
  5. The influenza trivalent form has no chance of acute influenza whereas the tetravalent dosage can cause minor influenza fever when first taken.


Both of these categories are designated after the influenza types for which they provide resistance. The trivalent form protects against three flu virus isolates: influenza A viral (H3N2), flu A virus (H1N1), and influenza B virus (H1N1) and the tetravalent form protects against an extra strain of influenza B virus in addition to those protected by the trivalent variant of influenza vaccine.

The trivalent form is an inactivated vaccine, whereas the tetravalent form is a live antigen.


  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
  3. https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT01232868
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