MedImmune 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 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.