SWIFTWATER, Pa., July 9, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccines division of Sanofi (EURONEXT: SAN and NYSE: SNY), announced today that the first lots of Fluzone vaccine began shipping to U.S. health care providers following Food and Drug Administration (FDA) licensure of the 2012-2013 formulation. This initial shipment represents the first of more than 60 million doses of seasonal influenza vaccine the company plans to deliver to health care providers in the U.S. this influenza season.
"This year, two new virus strains were recommended for the seasonal influenza vaccine formulation," said Chad Hoover, Vice President, Chief Commercial Officer, Sanofi Pasteur U.S. " It is a tremendous logistical challenge for public health to try to immunize everyone 6 months of age and older in the few months prior to influenza season. As the supplier of nearly half of the nation's influenza vaccine, it was a critical challenge for us to be early to market so that health care providers had confidence in their supply of influenza vaccine. With the confidence of early vaccine delivery, health care providers can start immunizing sooner and commit to scheduling immunization clinics throughout the season," Hoover added.
In addition to the strain change in the 2012-2013 vaccine, Sanofi Pasteur is pleased to announce that its syringe presentations of Fluzone and Fluzone High-Dose vaccines have a new syringe cap that does not contain latex. All presentations of Fluzone vaccine have the designation "does not contain latex," which should mitigate concerns about use in patients with a latex allergy.
This season Sanofi Pasteur will provide the following influenza vaccine options in its Fluzone vaccine family to help address the unique immunization needs of each age group:
- Fluzone vaccine, approved for use in persons 6 months of age and older upon which health care providers have relied for more than 40 years, will again be provided this season in a pediatric dose for children 6 months of age through 35 months of age. The 0.25 mL pediatric dose of Fluzone vaccine will be provided in pre-filled syringes. The 0.5 mL dose of Fluzone vaccine for children 35 months of age and older and adults will be provided in prefilled syringes and unit dose vials. Fluzone vaccine also will be available in a 5 mL multi-dose vial for immunization of children and adults 6 months of age and older. Fluzone vaccine is the only influenza vaccine licensed by the FDA for children as young as 6 months of age.
- Fluzone High-Dose vaccine, which was introduced in 2010 for adults 65 years of age and older, will be widely available this season. Adults 65 years of age and older are at greater risk for influenza and its complications because the immune system weakens with age. They often do not produce as much antibody following immunization as do younger people. Fluzone High-Dose vaccine is specifically formulated to elicit a stronger immune response in adults 65 years of age and older following immunization with the vaccine.
- Fluzone Intradermal vaccine, which was introduced in 2011 with limited availability, also will be widely available for the 2012-2013 season. Fluzone Intradermal vaccine features an ultra-fine needle that is 90 percent shorter than the typical needle used for intramuscular injection of influenza vaccine. Fluzone Intradermal vaccine is anticipated to be an attractive immunization option for adults 18 through 64 years of age, an age group that has among the lowest rates of immunization.
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