Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccines division of Sanofi, announced Monday that it began shipping the new Fluzone Intradermal (Influenza Virus Vaccine) in the U.S.
Sanofi Pasteur’s other Fluzone vaccines for children, adults and seniors 65 years of age and older began shipping in July. Approximately 60 million doses of Fluzone influenza vaccines will have been shipped by the end of September, says the company.
Fluzone Intradermal vaccine, licensed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in May 2011, is claimed to be the first influenza vaccine in the U.S. that uses a microinjection system for intradermal delivery.
Fluzone Intradermal vaccine, indicated for active immunization of adults 18 through 64 years of age against influenza, features an ultra-fine needle that is 90 percent shorter than the typical needle used for intramuscular injection of influenza vaccine.
“Adults 18 through 64 years of age have some of the lowest influenza immunization rates in the U.S. despite public health recommendations for everyone 6 months of age and older to receive an annual influenza immunization,” said Damian Braga, senior VP, Commercial Operations, Sanofi Pasteur.
Fluzone Intradermal vaccine is anticipated to be an attractive new immunization option for adults 18 through 64 years of age. Sanofi Pasteur has already introduced similar influenza vaccines using the intradermal microinjection system in more than 40 countries including Australia, Canada and countries in Europe.
Influenza is a serious respiratory illness that is easily spread and can lead to severe complications, even death. Each year in the U.S., 5 to 20 percent of the population gets the flu and an estimated 226,000 people are hospitalized from flu-related complications.
Flu seasons are unpredictable and can be severe. Depending on virus severity during the influenza season, annual deaths can range from a low of 3,000 to a high of about 49,000 people.
Combined with pneumonia, influenza is the nation’s eighth leading cause of death. Vaccination is safe and effective and the best way to help prevent influenza and its complications, suggest Sanofi Pasteur.