This shipment represents the first of more than 60 million doses of seasonal influenza vaccine the company plans to deliver this fall. Influenza vaccine is anticipated to be available to the public from local healthcare providers and pharmacies in August.
For the 2013-2014 season, two new influenza virus strains have been included in the trivalent seasonal influenza vaccine. There is a new A(H3N2) antigen and a new influenza B antigen. The A(H1N1) component of the vaccine is unchanged since the 2009 pandemic. Last season, influenza A(H3N2) disease predominated in the U.S., and it was particularly severe in older adults.
The 2013-2014 influenza season will be the first in which quadrivalent influenza vaccines will be available in the U.S. Until this year, seasonal influenza vaccines included only one B strain. Fluzone Quadrivalent vaccine includes two A strains and two B strains to help protect against influenza disease.
In addition to the strain changes, no presentation of Fluzone vaccine will contain natural rubber latex.
This season, Sanofi Pasteur will provide the following influenza vaccine options:
- Fluzone vaccine is approved for use in people six months of age and older. Fluzone vaccine will be provided in a 0.25mL pediatric dose for children six months through 35 months of age and a 0.5mL dose for children 35 months of age and older and adults. Fluzone vaccine also will be available in a 5mL multi-dose vial for immunization of people six months of age and older, adolescents, and adults. Fluzone vaccine is the only influenza vaccine licensed by the FDA for children as young as six months of age.
- Fluzone Quadrivalent vaccine, which helps protect against four influenza strains, is the newest addition to Sanofi Pasteur’s Fluzone family of influenza vaccines, having been licensed by the FDA in June 2013. Like Sanofi Pasteur’s Fluzone vaccine, Fluzone Quadrivalent vaccine is licensed for use in children six months of age and older, adolescents, and adults.
- Fluzone High-Dose vaccine, which was introduced in 2010 for adults 65 years of age and older, will be widely available this season. Fluzone High-Dose vaccine is specifically formulated to elicit stronger influenza antibody responses in adults 65 years of age and older.
- Fluzone Intradermal vaccine, which was introduced in 2011, also will be widely available for the 2013-2014 season. Fluzone Intradermal vaccine features an ultra-fine needle that is 90% shorter than the typical needle used for IM injection of influenza vaccine.
Healthcare providers wishing to reserve vaccine can do so by visiting VaccineShoppe.com or by calling 1-800-VACCINE (1-800-822-2463).