GAITHERSBURG, Md., July 28 /PRNewswire/ -- MedImmune announced today that it has begun shipping its seasonal influenza vaccine FluMist((R) )(Influenza Vaccine Live, Intranasal) to vaccine distributors who service health care providers throughout the United States. MedImmune expects approximately 10 million doses of its trivalent (three-strain) nasal spray flu vaccine will be available for the 2009-2010 influenza season through a variety of private health care practices, public health departments, school-based vaccination programs, military bases, and other locations.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and American Academy of Pediatrics advise that flu vaccine be administered every year as soon as it becomes available. A MedImmune analysis suggests that starting influenza vaccination in August instead of October may help reach an additional 11.5 million children at already-scheduled healthcare provider visits.
The 2009-2010 influenza season is the first for full implementation of the recommendations by the CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) that children six months through the age of 18 years be vaccinated annually against influenza, meaning 30 million additional children 5 through 18 years of age now fall within influenza vaccination recommendations.
"MedImmune is committed to delivering our seasonal nasal spray influenza vaccine in the summer months in order to increase opportunities for vaccination," said Alex Zukiwski, MD, MedImmune's Executive Vice President, Clinical Research & Chief Medical Officer. "If more eligible children can be vaccinated against seasonal influenza while attending back-to-school checkups, sports physicals, and clinics early in the school year, the country will be better prepared for the flu season ahead."
FluMist is available in every state through the federally funded Vaccines for Children (VFC) program, which provides vaccines at no cost to eligible children. FluMist is also covered by approximately 95 percent of private health plans which offer immunization benefits.
FluMist Becomes Sponsor of Women's Professional Soccer
To help communicate the importance of seasonal flu vaccination efforts, MedImmune has teamed up with Women's Professional Soccer (WPS) for "Don't Play with the Flu"(TM) (www.dontplaywiththeflu.com), a national health awareness campaign with the goal of increasing seasonal flu vaccination rates among eligible kids and families across the country. As part of the multi-faceted campaign, FluMist has become an official sponsor of WPS, the world's premier women's professional soccer league, working with real-life soccer moms and the league to reach families during flu vaccination season, including back-to-school visits.
"Our 'Don't Play with the Flu' efforts are directed toward parents to help them understand the importance of annual influenza vaccination and reminds them not to wait to put up a defense against the flu, particularly with seasonal vaccine becoming available during the summer," said Peter Greenleaf, MedImmune's Senior Vice President, Commercial Operations, Corporate Development & Strategy. "We're proud to partner with the WPS in its inaugural season to bring this fun, educational and interactive campaign to the families across America."
Important Safety and Eligibility information for FluMist
Who may be eligible for FluMist((R)) (Influenza Vaccine Live, Intranasal)?
FluMist is a vaccine approved for the prevention of certain types of influenza disease in children, adolescents and adults 2-49 years of age. FluMist may not protect everyone who gets it. FluMist is for intranasal administration only.
Who may not be able to get FluMist?
FluMist is not right for everyone. FluMist must not be given to: people with history of hypersensitivity to eggs, egg proteins, gentamicin, gelatin or arginine; people with life-threatening reactions to previous influenza vaccinations; and children and adolescents receiving aspirin or aspirin-containing therapy. Children less than 24 months of age are not eligible for FluMist.
The following people may not be able to get FluMist or may be able to get it only in certain situations: people with asthma or active wheezing, or children less than 5 years of age with recurrent wheezing; people with a history of Guillain-Barre syndrome; people with a weakened immune system; people with long-term medical conditions including heart disease, kidney disease, and metabolic diseases, such as diabetes; and pregnant women.
If your child falls into one of these groups, be sure to tell your healthcare provider. They will decide if FluMist is right for your child.
What are the most common side effects of FluMist?
Most common side effects included runny nose or nasal congestion, sore throat, and fever. For a full list of side effects, please see section 6.1 in the following product information.
Please see the complete product information.
For more information, please visit www.FluMist.com.
MedImmune, the worldwide biologics business for AstraZeneca PLC (LSE: AZN.L, NYSE: AZN), has approximately 3,100 employees worldwide and is headquartered in Gaithersburg, Maryland. With an advancing pipeline of promising candidates, we aim to be the next revolutionary force in biotechnology by delivering life-changing products, industry-leading performance, and a tireless commitment to improving patient health. For more information, visit MedImmune's website at www.medimmune.com.
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