CDC's Recommended Influenza Prioritization Schedule Highlights FluMist as an Option to Protect Healthy People 5-49 Years of Age

GAITHERSBURG, Md. -- MedImmune, Inc. announces that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) has included in its priority influenza immunization schedule that FluMist

(Influenza Vaccine Live, Intranasal) may be administered at any time for vaccination of nonpregnant healthy persons aged 5-49 years, including most healthcare personnel, other persons in close contact with groups at high risk for influenza-related complications, and others desiring protection against influenza.  FluMist is, therefore, not subject to the tiered recommendations for priority use of trivalent inactivated influenza vaccine (TIV) published in the issue of Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, dated Sept. 2,

2005.(1)

MedImmune also announced today that it has begun shipping FluMist to healthcare providers.  Consumers can ask their doctor or pharmacist about whether FluMist is right for them and where it may be available in their local area.  Physicians, pharmacists, and other healthcare professionals interested in ordering FluMist may call (877) FLUMIST. 

"CDC's efforts to immunize and protect the highest-risk groups on a priority basis this influenza season are part of a vital public health program," commented Edward M. Connor, MD, executive vice president and chief medical officer.  "At the same time, it's important for healthcare providers, state public health officials, and the general public to know that FluMist remains available as an option for nonpregnant healthy persons aged 5-49 years who wish to be vaccinated against influenza."

According to an article published in the New England Journal of Medicine, school-aged children have an influenza attack rate of 30 percent.(2)  In addition, experts have suggested that vaccinating approximately 50 to 70 percent of school-aged children would considerably reduce influenza in the general population, thus helping to keep it from reaching epidemic levels.(3)

FluMist is indicated for active immunization for the prevention of disease caused by influenza A and B viruses in healthy children and adolescents, 5 to 17 years of age, and healthy adults, 18 to 49 years of age. There are risks associated with all vaccines, including FluMist.  Like any vaccine, FluMist does not protect 100 percent of individuals vaccinated.  In studies of people between the ages of 5 and 49 years, runny nose was the most commonly reported side effect.  Other common side effects included various cold-like symptoms, such as headache, cough, sore throat, tiredness/weakness, irritability, and

muscle aches.

FluMist should not be used, under any circumstances, in anyone with an allergy to any part of the vaccine, including eggs; in children and adolescents receiving aspirin therapy; in people who have a history of Guillain-Barre syndrome; and in people with known or suspected immune system problems.  Pregnant women and people with certain medical conditions, asthma, or reactive airways disease should not get FluMist.

References:   

  (1) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Update: Influenza vaccine

        supply and recommendations for prioritization during the 2005-2006

        influenza season. MMWR 2005;54(34):850.

    (2) Neuzil KM, Mellen BG, Wright PF, et al. The effect of influenza on

        hospitalizations, outpatient visits, and courses of antibiotics in

        children. N Engl J Med. 2000;342:225-231.

    (3) Longini IM, Halloran ME. Strategy for distribution of influenza

        vaccine to high-risk groups and children. Am J Epidemiol.

        2005;161:303-306.

Source: MedImmune, Inc.

 

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