Aventis Pasteur Announces Shipment of 43 Million Doses of Fluzone Influenza Vaccine Orders

SWIFTWATER, Pa. -- Aventis Pasteur, the nation's largest supplier of influenza vaccine, announces it has shipped more than 43 million doses of the company's influenza vaccine, Fluzone, Influenza Virus Vaccine this season and all vaccine orders were shipped to customers by October 31, except those few customers that requested shipment in November. These figures represent the largest number of doses the company has ever shipped by this date. All customers received partial orders of influenza vaccine in September, in time to vaccinate their high-risk patients, with customers who placed smaller orders receiving their entire order in September. Customers with larger vaccine orders received the balance of their orders in October.

The company is still accepting new orders for shipments of Fluzone vaccine. Healthcare providers ordering now will receive their vaccine in early November.

"This is good news for healthcare providers who prioritized vaccination of high-risk persons, including the elderly and chronically ill, in accordance with recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Now they can expand their immunization efforts to include everyone who wants to protect themselves against influenza this season," said Phil Hosbach, vice president, new products and immunization policy for Aventis Pasteur.

Aventis Pasteur made a significant capital investment in 2001 to expand production of its Fluzone influenza vaccine, which increased total capacity by 20 percent. With 43 million doses on the market for the 2002-2003 influenza season, more Fluzone vaccine is produced than any other influenza vaccine in the U.S. market. The company is currently evaluating a still greater expansion within the next several years to meet growing demand and to help address the important immunization objectives outlined in the CDC's Healthy People 2010 goals.

The CDC recommends annual influenza vaccination in October for those at high risk for developing serious influenza-related complications. Among the high-risk groups are the elderly and the chronically ill; children with chronic diseases such as asthma; and pregnant women who will be in their second or third trimester of pregnancy during the influenza season. Influenza vaccination is also recommended in October for household contacts of high-risk individuals and health care workers who care for high-risk patients.

Healthy persons aged 50 to 64 and all other healthy individuals who wish to decrease their risk of influenza infection should seek vaccination in November, December and later in the season.

Fluzone Influenza Virus Vaccine, is produced and marketed by Aventis Pasteur Inc., which is located in Swiftwater, Pa., and is a subsidiary of Aventis Pasteur SA. Aventis Pasteur Inc. provides the broadest range of human vaccines and biologicals commercially available from any single U.S. vaccine company. It is a leading supplier of vaccines to protect against influenza, diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, Japanese encephalitis, yellow fever, Haemophilus influenzae type b disease, meningitis, rabies, and typhoid fever.

Aventis Pasteur SA is the largest company in the world devoted entirely to vaccines. In 2001, Aventis Pasteur produced 1.3 billion doses of vaccine, making it possible to protect 500 million people across the globe, which is over one million per day. The company offers the broadest range of vaccines, providing protection against 19 bacterial and viral diseases. Based in Lyon, France, Aventis Pasteur is owned by Aventis SA.

Aventis is dedicated to improving life by treating and preventing human disease through the discovery and development of innovative prescription drugs for important therapeutic areas as well as human vaccines. In 2001, Aventis generated sales of euro 17.7 billion, invested euro 3 billion in research and development and employed approximately 75,000 people in its core business. Aventis corporate headquarters are in Strasbourg, France.

Source: PRNewswire