Sanofi Pasteur has released the first lots of its Fluzone influenza vaccine for the 2014-15 flu season to the Food and Drug Administration for distribution.

Sanofi Pasteur, influenza vaccine, Fluzone, Fluzone Quadrivalent, Fluzone High-Dose, Fluzone Intradermal, seasonal flu, 2014-15 flu season

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Sanofi Pasteur starts shipment of seasonal flu vaccines

July 22nd, 2014

SWIFTWATER, Pa. – Sanofi Pasteur has released the first lots of its Fluzone influenza vaccine for the 2014-15 flu season to the Food and Drug Administration for distribution.

The Sanofi division said Tuesday that the lots mark the first of at least 65 million doses of its seasonal flu vaccine that will be delivered to U.S. health care providers and pharmacies in August.

This season, Sanofi Pasteur will provide four seasonal flu vaccine options to help address the immunization needs of all age groups, from children as young as 6 months to adults age 65 and older.

Fluzone, for peopl age 6 months and older, will be available in two presentations: a 0.5 ml prefilled syringe and a 5 ml multi-dose vial. Children age 6 months through 35 months should receive a 0.25 ml dose; children 36 months of age and older, adolescents and adults should receive a 0.5 ml dose. Fluzone vaccine is the only trivalent influenza vaccine licensed by the FDA for children as young as 6 months, Sanofi noted.

Fluzone Quadrivalent vaccine, which helps protect against four influenza strains (two A strains and two B strains), was first licensed by the FDA in 2013. It can be used for children 6 months of age and older, adolescents and adults.

Fluzone High-Dose vaccine, introduced in 2010, is available for adults age 65 and older, who Sanofi said are at greater risk for flu and its complications because the immune system weakens with age. Fluzone High-Dose vaccine contains four times the amount of antigen of the standard-dose Fluzone vaccine and induces higher antibody responses against the flu to address the age-related decline of their immune system.

And Fluzone Intradermal vaccine, introduced in 2011, will also be available for the upcoming flu season. Fluzone Intradermal vaccine features a 90% smaller, affixed microneedle, which Sanofi said offers an efficient way to immunize patients by eliminating steps in the vaccination process.

"The flu impacts people in the U.S. every year, and the single best way to help prevent getting or spreading the influenza virus is timely vaccination," stated David Greenberg, M.D., vice president of scientific and medical affairs and chief medical officer for Sanofi Pasteur U.S. "Sanofi Pasteur is committed to helping people fight the flu by offering a broad range of flu vaccine options to meet the needs of patients across multiple age groups.

"Patients should work with their health care providers to find the best vaccine option for them this season," he added.

Direct shipments to health care providers and distributors will be ongoing through October, with health care providers who have placed reservations with Sanofi Pasteur receiving initial shipments by the end of August to support fall immunization campaigns, the company said.