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In Canada, FluMist named preferred flu vaccine for kids
October 28th, 2011
MISSISSAUGA, Ontario – Canada's National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) has designated FluMist, AstraZeneca's nasal spray flu vaccine, as the preferred flu vaccination for children ages 2 to 17 without chronic health conditions.
AstraZeneca Canada said this week that it was the first time that NACI provided recommendations on the use of FluMist, which is Canada's only needle-free vaccine. According to the pharmaceutical company, NACI's recommendation was based on FluMist's effectiveness, efficacy and immunogenicity.
Clinical studies show that FluMist significantly lowered the number of influenza cases versus the traditional flu shot in children ages 2 to 17, and the nasal spray vaccine reduced the number of flu cases by over 50% compared with the flu shot in children ages 2 to 5, AstraZeneca Canada reported. The company added that NACI also recommends the use of FluMist in adults up to age 59.
A gentle mist sprayed into the nose, FluMist is administered where the flu virus typically enters the body, inducing protective immunity, AstraZeneca Canada noted.
"NACI's recommendation for FluMist gives parents reassurance that their children can be better protected against influenza with a safe and effective vaccine, without having to experience the discomfort that comes with the traditional injectable vaccine," Dr. Earl Rubin of the McGill Pediatric Infectious Disease Residency Program at the Montreal Children's Hospital, said in a statement. "Parents should partner with their family physicians to ensure their children receive yearly vaccination, as this is one of the best ways to prevent the spread of the influenza virus."
FluMist, licensed to AstraZeneca by MedImmune, has been available in the United States since 2003 and has been studied in more than 140,000 people, AstraZeneca said, adding that over 39 million doses have been manufactured and distributed in the United States alone.