SWIFTWATER, Pa., July 22, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccines division of Sanofi (EURONEXT: SAN and NYSE: SNY), announced today that the first lots of Fluzone ® (Influenza Vaccine) for the 2014-2015 influenza ("the flu") season have been released by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for distribution. The lots were shipped on July 21, 2014, representing the first of at least 65 million doses of seasonal influenza vaccine manufactured by Sanofi Pasteur that will be delivered to U.S. health care providers and pharmacies in August.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends annual influenza vaccination for everyone six months of age and older, with rare exception[i],[ii] — this means people should be vaccinated again even if they were vaccinated last season as immunity may wane. Furthermore, while influenza disease activity typically peaks in February, public health officials recommend that people seek influenza vaccine as soon as it becomes available in their community to ensure season-long protection.
"The flu impacts people in the U.S. every year, and the single best way to help prevent getting or spreading the influenza virus is timely vaccination," said David P. Greenberg, M.D., Vice President, Scientific & Medical Affairs, and Chief Medical Officer, Sanofi Pasteur U.S. "Sanofi Pasteur is committed to helping people fight the flu by offering a broad range of flu vaccine options to meet the needs of patients across multiple age groups."
This season, Sanofi Pasteur will provide the following influenza vaccine options in its Fluzone vaccine family to help address the unique immunization needs of all age groups, from children as young as six months through adults 65 years of age and older:
- Fluzone vaccine is approved for use in people six months of age and older. Fluzone vaccine will be available in two presentations: a 0.5 mL prefilled syringe and a 5 mL multi-dose vial. Children six months through 35 months of age should receive a 0.25 mL dose; children 36 months of age and older, adolescents, and adults should receive a 0.5 mL dose. Fluzone vaccine is the only trivalent influenza vaccine licensed by the FDA for children as young as six months of age.
- Fluzone Quadrivalent vaccine, which helps protect against four influenza strains (two A strains and two B strains), was first licensed by the FDA in 2013. The influenza B strain is associated with high hospitalization and mortality rates, especially in children and young adults. In fact, on average, over multiple recent seasons, 34 percent of influenza-related deaths in children up to 18 years of age were due to influenza B. Like Sanofi Pasteur's Fluzone vaccine, Fluzone Quadrivalent vaccine is licensed for use in children six months of age and older, adolescents, and adults.
- Fluzone High-Dose vaccine, which was introduced in 2010, is available for adults 65 years of age and older. Adults age 65 and older are at greater risk for influenza and its complications because the immune system weakens with age. Fluzone High-Dose vaccine contains four times the amount of antigen than is contained in standard-dose Fluzone vaccine and induces higher antibody responses against the flu to address the age-related decline of their immune system. In a large-scale clinical trial, Fluzone High-Dose vaccine demonstrated higher efficacy in preventing influenza in adults 65 years of age and older compared to standard-dose Fluzone vaccine.
- Fluzone Intradermal vaccine, which was introduced in 2011, will also be available for the upcoming influenza season. Fluzone Intradermal vaccine features a 90 percent smaller, affixed microneedle, and offers an efficient way to vaccinate patients by eliminating steps in the vaccination process.