GAITHERSBURG, Md., July 18, 2011 /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.
MedImmune expects to provide approximately 15 –16 million doses of its trivalent (three-strain) nasal spray flu vaccine for the 2011-2012 influenza season through a variety of private health care practices, public health departments, school-located vaccination programs, military bases, and other venues. Healthcare professionals should refer to FluMist prescribing information for appropriate administration.
FluMist is indicated for eligible individuals 2-49 years of age. The most common side effects of FluMist are runny or stuffy nose; sore throat and fever over 100 degrees F.
This year, flu vaccines contain the three strains recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and World Health Organization (WHO), including the 2009 H1N1 pandemic strain.
The CDC recommends that flu vaccine be administered to eligible recipients aged six months and older every year as soon as the vaccine becomes available. A MedImmune analysis looking at pediatric populations suggests that starting influenza vaccinations as soon as product is available (July – September) — months earlier than the typical influenza vaccination season — may help reach an additional 10.5 million children at already-scheduled healthcare provider visits.
"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 Steve Projan, Ph.D, MedImmune's Senior Vice President, Research & Development. "The data show that 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. FluMist is also 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.
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.
Important Safety and Eligibility Information for FluMist
What is FluMist® (Influenza Vaccine Live, Intranasal)?
FluMist is the first and only nasal spray flu vaccine approved in the United States to help prevent influenza and is indicated for the active immunization of eligible individuals 2 to 49 years of age against influenza disease caused by influenza virus subtypes A and B contained in the vaccine.
Who may not be able to get FluMist?
You should not get FluMist if you: are allergic to eggs, gentamicin, gelatin, or arginine; have ever had a life-threatening reaction to influenza vaccinations; or are 2 through 17 years old and take aspirin or medicines containing aspirin–children or adolescents should not be given aspirin for 4 weeks after getting FluMist unless your healthcare provider tells you otherwise.
Children under 2 years old should not get FluMist because there is a chance they may wheeze (have difficulty with breathing) after getting FluMist.
Tell your healthcare provider if you: are currently wheezing; have a history of wheezing if under 5 years old; have had Guillain-Barre syndrome; have a weakened immune system or live with someone who has a severely weakened immune system; have problems with your heart, kidneys, or lungs; have diabetes; are pregnant or nursing; or are taking Tamiflu®, Relenza®, amantadine, or rimantadine.
They will decide if FluMist is right for you.
What are the most common side effects of FluMist?
The most common side effects of FluMist are runny or stuffy nose; sore throat; and fever over 100 degrees F.
For more information, please visit www.FluMist.com.
MedImmune, the worldwide biologics unit for AstraZeneca PLC (LSE: AZN.L, NYSE: AZN), has approximately 3,500 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.