AstraZeneca Canada Inc. is now offering FluMist intranasal vaccine in Canada for the prevention of seasonal flu.

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FluMist makes debut in Canada

October 28th, 2010

MISSISSAUGA, Ontario – AstraZeneca Canada Inc. is now offering FluMist intranasal vaccine in Canada for the prevention of seasonal flu.

The company said Thursday that the needle-free flu immunization, used in the United States since 2003, is available with or without a prescription at pharmacies across Canada and must be administered by a health care professional.

FluMist, a registered trademark of MedImmune licensed to AstraZeneca, is administered annually as a gentle mist sprayed into the nose and is approved for the prevention of seasonal flu in people ages 2 to 59 years, the company said.

According to a recent survey, 60% of parents would prefer a nasal administration of the flu vaccine for their children. About one in 10 said the way that the vaccine is administered (12%) and discomfort experienced when receiving the vaccination (9%) are important considerations.

"Children spend a lot of time in highly populated areas, such as school, and therefore have the highest rates of influenza and associated complications and are contagious for a longer period of time. Vaccinating children against seasonal flu protects more than just the child; it protects the family and the community against the spread of influenza," stated Dr. Earl Rubin, program director of the McGill Pediatric Infectious Diseases Residency Program and researcher at Montreal Children's Hospital. "As a physician, I am pleased that starting this flu season there is a vaccine option available that is not only needle-free and easy to administer but also safe and more effective in children than the injectable vaccine."

AstraZeneca reported that clinical trials have demonstrated that in children ages 2 to 17, FluMist significantly reduced the number of flu cases compared with the traditional injectable flu shot. In children ages 2 to 5, FluMist cut the number of flu cases by more than 50% versus the injectable vaccine.