~ Health Canada approval of FluMist® offers Canadians a safe,1
more effective2a,3a option to protect against the flu ~
MISSISSAUGA, ON, July 14 /CNW/ - AstraZeneca Canada Inc. announced today
that Health Canada has approved FluMist® (Influenza Vaccine, Live,
Attenuated) for the prevention of seasonal influenza. FluMist is the
first vaccine in Canada that is administered as a gentle mist sprayed
into the nose.
This unique, needle-free administration method allows the vaccine to
enter the nose where the influenza virus usually enters the body4a,
inducing protective immunity. Additionally, clinical studies have shown
that, compared to the injectable vaccine, FluMist demonstrates greater
effectiveness against matched and mismatched strains in children two to
17 years of age and guards against late outbreaks of infection.2b
In children two to five years of age, FluMist reduced the number of
influenza cases by more than 50 per cent, compared to the injectable
Despite the World Health Organization's recommendation that vaccination
is the most effective way to prevent seasonal flu infection,4b
only 31.7 per cent of Canadians aged 12 or older were vaccinated against
the flu in 2008.5 According to a recent survey, almost a
quarter of Canadian parents do not think the current vaccine works6a
and 60 per cent would prefer a nasal administration of the vaccine for
"Seasonal influenza remains the most common vaccine-preventable disease
in the developed world. Despite the fact that the flu is a serious
illness that in addition to causing people to miss significant time at
work, school and with their families and friends can sometimes lead to
death, we continue to see low vaccination rates here in Canada," says
Dr. David Greenberg, general practitioner, Toronto. "With the
introduction of FluMist, it's encouraging to see another vaccine option
to help reduce the overall burden of seasonal flu in Canada."
FluMist is administered annually, and is approved for the prevention of
seasonal influenza in Canadians two to 59 years of age.2c
FluMist has been used in the U.S. since 2003.
"FluMist is sprayed directly into the nose - the site of infection -
which simplifies the vaccination process for both healthcare
professional and patient, particularly children," says Dr. Greenberg.
"Parents won't have to worry about their children being afraid of the
needle and can be reassured by the data that supports the effectiveness
ABOUT ASTRAZENECA CANADA
AstraZeneca is committed to the research, development and manufacturing
of valuable prescription medicines. We have an extensive product
portfolio spanning six therapeutic areas: gastrointestinal,
cardiovascular, infection, neuroscience, oncology and respiratory.
AstraZeneca's Canadian headquarters are located in Mississauga, Ontario,
and a state-of-the art drug discovery centre is based in Montreal,
Quebec. For more information, please visit the company's website at href="http://www.astrazeneca.ca/">www.astrazeneca.ca.
FluMist® is a registered trademark of MedImmune licensed to AstraZeneca.
1 Glezen, WP. Asthma, influenza, and vaccination. J of
Allergy Clin Immunol. 2006;118: 1199-1206.
Product Monograph, 2010.
3 Belshe RB, et al. New England
Journal of Medicine, 2007; 356:685-696
4 World Health
Organization. Influenza (Seasonal). http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs211/en/.
Accessed June 9, 2010.
5 Statistics Canada. Influenza
immunization 2008. http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/82-625-x/2010001/article/11105-eng.htm.
Accessed June 10, 2010.
6 Canadian Flu Report. Angus Reid
Public Opinion and AstraZeneca Canada. March 2010.
SOURCE AstraZeneca Canada Inc.
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