FluMist® Begins Shipping for 2010-2011 Influenza Season

Vaccine Includes 2009 H1N1 Pandemic Strain; Public Health Officials Encourage Influenza Immunization as Soon as Vaccine Becomes Available

GAITHERSBURG, Md., July 23 /PRNewswire/ -- MedImmune announced today that it has begun shipping FluMist® (Influenza Vaccine Live, Intranasal) to influenza vaccine distributors who service health care providers throughout the United States.

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MedImmune expects to provide approximately 15 million doses of its trivalent (three-strain) nasal spray flu vaccine for the 2010-2011 influenza season through a variety of private health care practices, public health departments, school-located vaccination programs, military bases, and other venues.  

Earlier this year, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), a panel of immunization experts advising the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) expanded the recommendations for annual influenza vaccination to include all people aged six months and older. Please refer to the specific prescribing information for each manufacturers' influenza vaccines as not all vaccines are indicated for all ages.

The CDC also recommends that flu vaccine be administered to eligible recipients every year as soon as the vaccine becomes available.  A MedImmune analysis looking at pediatric populations suggests that starting influenza vaccination in August and September -- months earlier than the typical influenza vaccination season -- may help reach an additional 10.5 million children at already-scheduled healthcare provider visits.

Global public health authorities have determined that this season's vaccine will include the 2009 H1N1 pandemic strain among the three vaccine strains. Additionally, the ACIP voted in June 2010 to recommend that children younger than nine years who did not receive at least one dose of the H1N1 monovalent vaccine in the 2009-2010 season should receive two doses of the 2010-2011 trivalent seasonal vaccine.  

"MedImmune is committed to supporting public health efforts to initiate seasonal influenza vaccination as early as possible each year, greatly widening the window of opportunity for vaccination," said Alex Zukiwski, MD, MedImmune's Executive Vice President, Clinical Research & Chief Medical Officer. "The public can be reassured that influenza vaccination with FluMist in the late summer helps protect against influenza throughout the influenza season, even into the late spring."

FluMist is available in every state, except South Dakota, through the federally funded Vaccines for Children (VFC) program, which provides vaccines at no cost to eligible children.  Based on a nationally-representative sample of private insurance claims from approximately 50 percent of US patients, FluMist accounted for 34 percent of seasonal influenza vaccinations given to children two through 18 years of age during the 2009-2010 season. FluMist is covered by approximately 99 percent of private health plans which offer immunization benefits.

FluMist is now available on the Vaccine for Adults contract allowing state and local immunization programs to access the vaccine at the public-sector price for community vaccination programs focused on young adults and immunization of first-responders and healthcare workers.

Important Safety and Eligibility Information for FluMist

Who may be eligible for FluMist® (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 five 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 you or your child falls into one of these groups, their healthcare provider will decide if FluMist is right for you or 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, including patient information at www.medimmune.com.

For more information, please visit www.FluMist.com.

About MedImmune

MedImmune, the worldwide biologics unit for AstraZeneca PLC (LSE: AZN.L, NYSE: AZN), has approximately 3,300 employees worldwide and is headquartered in Gaithersburg, Maryland. With an advancing pipeline of promising drug candidates, MedImmune strives to deliver life-changing products, a rewarding career to our employees and a tireless commitment to improving patient health. For more information, visit MedImmune's website at www.medimmune.com.

SOURCE MedImmune