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GAITHERSBURG, Md. — MedImmune announced today that it began shipping FluMist® (Influenza Virus Vaccine Live, Intranasal) on July 31 for the 2008-2009 influenza season. Early and wide availability of FluMist is a key component in maximizing opportunities to vaccinate an additional 30 million children and teenagers through the age of 18 years who are now recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) to be vaccinated annually against influenza. The CDC also advises that flu vaccine be administered every year as soon as it becomes available. Results of a recent analysis reported by MedImmune at the annual meeting of the Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) revealed that starting vaccination against influenza in August may help reach an additional 10.7 million children while they are at healthcare provider offices for already-scheduled visits.
“To meet the goal of vaccinating every school-age child and teenager against the flu, vaccination practices must shift to include opportunities across a longer period of time,” said Norman Harbaugh, MD, FAAP, of the Children’s Medical Group of
Atlanta. “Early availability of FluMist gives providers the ability to reach more eligible children through back-to-school check-ups, sports physicals and annual well-child visits with a vaccine that has been shown to provide protection throughout the entire flu season.”
MedImmune will make FluMist more widely available than ever before, with plans to produce approximately 12 million doses for the 2008-2009 season. In addition to ongoing shipments to healthcare provider offices and clinics, FluMist will also be available this influenza season at select retail pharmacies and supermarkets. Visit http://www.flumist.com for information about availability of FluMist in local areas.
FluMist will also be available in nearly 200 school-based vaccination programs and university health centers. Additionally, the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) has awarded MedImmune a contract for FluMist for the fourth consecutive year to help vaccinate eligible active duty military personnel and their families. FluMist is available in every state through the federally funded Vaccines for Children
(VFC) program, which provides vaccines at no cost to eligible children. FluMist is also covered by approximately 94 percent of private health plans which offer immunization benefits.
FluMist is a live attenuated influenza virus vaccine indicated for active immunization of individuals 2 to 49 years of age against influenza disease caused by influenza virus subtypes A and type B contained in the vaccine.