FluMist® (Influenza Vaccine Live, Intranasal) Begins Shipping For 2012-2013 Influenza Season

GAITHERSBURG, Md., Aug. 2, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- MedImmune, the global biologics arm of AstraZeneca, announced it began shipping FluMist® to influenza vaccine distributors throughout the United States.  MedImmune expects to provide approximately 13 million doses of its trivalent FluMist for the 2012-2013 influenza season through private health care practices, public health departments, school-located vaccination programs, military bases, retail pharmacies and other venues.  

"MedImmune is committed to continuing its collaboration with providers and the public health community to immunize eligible preschool- and school-age children, adolescents and adults up to age 49 against the flu as early as possible each year," said Chris Ambrose, M.D., MedImmune's Senior Director of Medical & Scientific Affairs. "Vaccination with FluMist can help protect against the flu throughout the influenza season into late spring."

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends everyone aged six months and older receive the flu vaccine every year, as soon as the vaccine becomes available. Individuals should check with their healthcare provider regarding eligibility and to see when FluMist will be available in their area. Because all influenza vaccines are not approved for all ages – consult each product's prescribing information for approved age ranges.

FluMist is indicated for active immunization of eligible individuals 2-49 years of age against influenza disease caused by influenza virus subtypes A and type B contained in the vaccine.  The most common side effects of FluMist are runny or stuffy nose, sore throat and fever over 100°F.

FluMist contains the three strains recommended by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)'s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC) including the 2009 H1N1 pandemic strain.

FluMist is available in every state through the federally funded Vaccines for Children (VFC) program, which provides vaccines at no cost to eligible children. Additionally, FluMist is covered by approximately 99 percent of private health plans which offer immunization benefits. 

Note: FluMist Quadrivalent (Influenza Vaccine Live, Intranasal) was approved by the FDA on February 29, 2012 and will be available for the 2013-2014 flu season.  

Important Safety and Eligibility Information for FluMist (Influenza Vaccine Live, Intranasal)

What is FluMist? (Influenza Vaccine Live, Intranasal)?

FluMist is a vaccine that is sprayed into the nose to help protect against influenza. It can be used in children, adolescents, and adults ages 2 through 49. FluMist may not prevent influenza in everyone who gets vaccinated.

Who should not get FluMist?

You should not get FluMist if you have a severe allergy 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 have an increased risk of wheezing (difficulty with breathing) after getting FluMist.

Who may not be able to get FluMist?

Tell your healthcare provider if you or your child are currently wheezing; have a history of wheezing if under 5 years old; have had Guillain-Barré 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.

Your healthcare provider will decide if FluMist is right for you or your child.

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.

Please see the accompanying complete Product Information, including Patient Information for more information.

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

About MedImmune

MedImmune, the global biologics arm for AstraZeneca, has approximately 3,500 employees worldwide and is headquartered in Gaithersburg, Maryland. For more information, visit MedImmune's website at www.medimmune.com.

About AstraZeneca

AstraZeneca is a global, innovation-driven biopharmaceutical business with a primary focus on the discovery, development and commercialisation of prescription medicines for gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, neuroscience, respiratory and inflammation, oncology and infectious disease. AstraZeneca operates in over 100 countries and its innovative medicines are used by millions of patients worldwide. For more information please visit: www.astrazeneca.com.

SOURCE MedImmune