AstraZeneca launches new FluMist® Quadrivalent flu vaccine for this flu season

The only intranasal flu vaccine for children two to 17 now provides broader protection1

MISSISSAUGA, ON, Oct. 26, 2015 /CNW/ - AstraZeneca Canada Inc. announced today the approval and availability of FluMist® Quadrivalent (FluMist), the only needle-free flu vaccine available in Canada that protects against two A strains of the flu, and for the first time, two B strains.2 FluMist has been shown to be 48 per cent more effective in children ages two to 17 than the traditional flu shot across all strains.3

FluMist addresses the growing issue of mismatched influenza strains. By adding a second B virus to the traditional trivalent vaccine, the likelihood of matching the major circulating B strain increases.4 In fact, Canada's National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) recommends the use of a quadrivalent flu vaccine for the 2015-2016 flu season.5

"Last winter was particularly bad for the flu, and one reason was the poor match between the influenza vaccine available and the flu strains circulating in Canada," said Dr. Vivien Brown, a family physician and board member of Immunize Canada. "With the introduction of quadrivalent vaccines, such as FluMist, Canadians are more likely to be protected against this season's major circulating flu."

FluMist, a Live Attenuated Influenza Vaccine (LAIV), is administered through the nose, where the flu virus typically enters the body.6 This method closely mimics natural infection which contributes to its superior efficacy when compared to the traditional flu shot.7 NACI also recommends a LAIV vaccine like FluMist for children aged two to 17 compared to a traditional flu shot.8 FluMist is available through nearly all provincial and territorial immunization programs.

"FluMist gives parents reassurance that their children are protected against influenza with a safe and effective vaccine, without having to experience the discomfort or concerns that may come with the traditional injectable vaccine," said Dr. Brown.

Each flu season, 3.5 to 7 million Canadians (10 to 20 per cent of the population) will be infected with the flu,9 and more than 12,000 Canadians are expected to visit the hospital because of the flu and related illnesses.10 By vaccinating each flu season, Canadians who cannot receive a flu vaccine including infants, seniors and those with compromised or fragile immune systems may also be protected through herd immunity. Herd immunity is important especially in schools and among children, in senior or long-term care facilities and in those aged 65 and older. 11,12

To help protect against seasonal influenza, Canadians can receive FluMist this flu season at their doctor's office and select pharmacies.

For more information about FluMist, please visit flumistcanada.ca. Canadians can also find out if pharmacists in their province are able to administer the flu vaccine by visiting the 'Pharmacist's Role in Flu Vaccination' page on the Canadian Pharmacist's Association website at www.pharmacists.ca.

FluMist is available without a prescription across all Canadian provinces and territories with the exception of Quebec where a prescription is needed.

FluMist® is a registered trademark of MedImmune licensed to AstraZeneca.

About FluMist® Quadrivalent
When compared with placebo, efficacy of two doses of a LAIV administered to children who have never been vaccinated was 83 per cent against similar strains.13

The following provinces and territories include FluMist as a part of their vaccination programs: Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Newfoundland and Labrador, Northwest Territories, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, Saskatchewan and Yukon. Canadians are encouraged to visit their respective provincial or territorial vaccination program websites to find out if they are eligible to receive FluMist.

About AstraZeneca

AstraZeneca is a global, innovation-driven biopharmaceutical business with a primary focus on the discovery, development and commercialization of prescription medicines for gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, neuroscience, respiratory and inflammation, oncology and infectious disease. AstraZeneca operates in over 100 countries and its innovative medicines are used by millions of patients worldwide. AstraZeneca's Canadian headquarters are located in Mississauga, Ontario. For more information, please visit the company's website at www.astrazeneca.ca.

B-Roll footage for this product is available at: https://edelmanftp.box.com/FluMist-broll-EN

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1
Public Health Agency of Canada. Statement on Seasonal Influenza Vaccine for 2015-2016- Public Health Agency of Canada. 2015. Available at: http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/naci-ccni/flu-2015-grippe-eng.php.  Accessed May 4, 2015.
2 FluMist® Quadrivalent Product Monograph. May 8. 2015.
3 Ambrose CS, Wu X, Knuf M, Wutzler P. The efficacy of intranasal live attenuated influenza vaccine in children 2 through 17 years of age: a meta-analysis of 8 randomized controlled studies. Vaccine. 2012;30(5):886-92.
4 Public Health Agency of Canada. Statement on Seasonal Influenza Vaccine for 2015-2016- Public Health Agency of Canada. 2015. Available at: http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/naci-ccni/flu-2015-grippe-eng.php. Accessed May 4, 2015.
5 Ibid.
6 FluMist® Quadrivalent Product Monograph. May 8. 2015.
7  Public Health Agency of Canada. Canada Communicable Disease Report CCDR. Revised Wording to the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) Recommendation for Live Attenuated Influenza Vaccine (LAIV) in Healthy Children and Adolescents 2-17 Years of Age. Nov. 14, 2013. Available at www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/publicat/ccdr-rmtc/13vol39/acs-dcc-4/rev-eng.php Accessed May 1, 2015
8 Public Health Agency of Canada. Statement on Seasonal Influenza Vaccine for 2015-2016- Public Health Agency of Canada. 2015. Available at: http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/naci-ccni/flu-2015-grippe-eng.php. Accessed May 4, 2015.
9 Ibid.
10 Ibid.
11 Barclay VC, Smieszek T, He J, Cao G, Rainey JJ, et al. Positive Network Assortativity of Influenza Vaccination at a High School: Implications for Outbreak Risk and Herd Immunity. 2014. PLoS ONE 9(2): e87042.
12 Government of Canada - Healthy Canadians. Flu – Risks. Available at:  http://healthycanadians.gc.ca/diseases-conditions-maladies-affections/disease-maladie/flu-grippe/risks-risques-eng.php Accessed June 15, 2015  
13 Ambrose CS, Wu X, Knuf M, Wutzler P. The efficacy of intranasal live attenuated influenza vaccine in children 2 through 17 years of age: a meta-analysis of 8 randomized controlled studies. Vaccine. 2012;30(5):886-92.

SOURCE AstraZeneca Canada Inc.

Image with caption: "To help protect against seasonal influenza, Canadians can receive the FluMist® Quadrivalent vaccine through some public health programs for children (2-17), in doctor’s offices and at some pharmacies. Visit www.flumistcanada.ca for more information. (CNW Group/AstraZeneca Canada Inc.)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20151026_C4527_PHOTO_EN_528211.jpg

For further information: Courtney McNamara, Edelman, Tel: (416) 849-3149, Courtney.McNamara@edelman.com; Stacey Brown, AstraZeneca Canada, Tel: (905) 803-5733, Stacey.brown@astrazeneca.com


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