The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has permitted GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) to ship its four-strain (quadrivalent) influenza vaccination.

Known as 2013-2014 Fluarix Quadrivalent, the vaccine will be sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and US medical providers.

Fluarix is the first of its kind to protect against four strains of influenza, protecting both children (three years old and up) and adults against seasonal influenza subtypes A and B, which are available in the innoculation.

GSK Vaccines North America scientific and public policy vice-president Dr Leonard Friedland said: "Trivalent (three-strain) influenza vaccines offer important protection against influenza. But since the late 1980s, scientists noted that two B virus lineage strains circulate to varying degrees each year, and it’s difficult to predict which one will cause the most illness in a particular influenza season."

He emphasised that ‘Fluarix Quadrivalent addresses this by protecting against both B strains’.

The largest demand for Fluarix was made by the CDC, which placed an order of more than four million doses of the injection in order to distribute it to healthcare providers and influenza manufacturers.

GSK predicts that it will supply’up to ten million doses of Fluarix, in addition to 22 million to 24 million doses of influenza vaccines on the whole.

The Fluarix vaccination was approved in Germany and being marketed as INFLUSPLIT Tetra and also passed inspection in the UK where it is being promoted as FLUARIX TETRA.