Shipment of VAXIGRIP(R) Influenza Virus Vaccine Begins Across Canada
TORONTO, Sept. 19 /CNW/ - Sanofi pasteur, the vaccines division of the
sanofi-aventis Group, has begun shipment of influenza vaccine (VAXIGRIP(R),
Influenza Virus Vaccine) in Canada for the 2007-2008 season. The first doses
of influenza vaccine are being shipped to provinces across Canada.
Sanofi pasteur has also begun to ship vaccine to direct customers,
including physicians, wholesalers and nursing agencies, which will allow
customers to begin immunizing patients as soon as possible. Vaccine shipments
will continue through the fall and are planned to be complete by the end of
Sanofi pasteur is pleased to be the first provider of influenza vaccine
in Canada for the 2007-2008 season.
In Canada, approximately 4000 people die each year because of influenza.
It is estimated that over 12 million doses of influenza vaccine are purchased
each year to protect Canadians against influenza. Sanofi pasteur is currently
responsible for providing 25 per cent of the Public Health requirements in
Canada for influenza vaccine. The federal contract, which expires after the
2007-2008 season, includes the supply of influenza vaccine required for the
Ontario Universal Flu Vaccine Program.
As the world's leading vaccine manufacturer, sanofi pasteur produces
approximately half of the influenza vaccine distributed worldwide. Sanofi
pasteur is committed to raising immunization rates around the world. As part
of this commitment, the company is expanding its influenza vaccine production
facility in the United States. This expansion, slated to come on-line by the
end of 2008 or in early 2009, will more than double U.S. production capacity.
While influenza vaccination typically begins in early fall, Health Canada
data demonstrates that influenza rates typically peak in February, making it
important for people to seek influenza immunization throughout the full
influenza season. The National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI)
encourages annual influenza vaccination for all Canadians.(1)
Influenza Vaccine Recommendations
NACI recommends influenza immunization for all persons who want to reduce
the risk of becoming ill with influenza or of transmitting the virus to
others, including school-aged children. Annual vaccination is especially
important for children 6 through 35 months of age, persons aged 65 years and
older, pregnant women and anyone 6 months and older with a chronic medical
condition, such as asthma and diabetes. The vaccine also is recommended for
persons who live with or care for persons at high risk, including household
contacts and health-care workers.
About the 2007-2008 Influenza Season
The 2007-2008 influenza vaccine formulation contains an A/Solomon
Islands/3/2006 (H1N1)-like virus; an A/Wisconsin/67/2005 (H3N2)-like virus;
and a B/Malaysia/2506/2004-like virus. The three strains for the new influenza
vaccine formulation were confirmed by NACI in July, 2007 and correspond with
recommendations made by the World Health Organization in February. Influenza
vaccine is formulated each year to match the strains predicted to circulate
during the upcoming season.
Sanofi-aventis is one of the world leaders in the pharmaceutical
industry, ranking number one in Europe. Backed by a world-class R&D
organization, sanofi-aventis is developing leading positions in seven major
therapeutic areas: cardiovascular, thrombosis, oncology, metabolic diseases,
central nervous system, internal medicine and vaccines. Sanofi-aventis is
listed in Paris (EURONEXT: SAN) and in New York (NYSE: SNY).
Sanofi pasteur, the vaccines division of the sanofi-aventis Group,
provided more than a billion doses of vaccine in 2006, making it possible to
immunize more than 500 million people across the globe. A world leader in the
vaccine industry, sanofi pasteur offers the broadest range of vaccines
protecting against 20 infectious diseases. The Company's heritage, to create
vaccines that protect life, dates back more than a century. Sanofi pasteur is
the largest company entirely dedicated to vaccines. Every day, the company
invests more than EUR 1 million in research and development. For more
information, please visit: www.sanofipasteur.com or www.sanofipasteur.ca
Forward Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements as defined in the
Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, as amended. Forward-looking
statements are statements that are not historical facts. These statements
include financial projections and estimates and their underlying assumptions,
statements regarding plans, objectives, intentions and expectations with
respect to future events, operations, products and services, and statements
regarding future performance. Forward-looking statements are generally
identified by the words "expects," "anticipates," "believes," "intends,"
"estimates," "plans" and similar expressions. Although sanofi-aventis'
management believes that the expectations reflected in such forward-looking
statements are reasonable, investors are cautioned that forward-looking
information and statements are subject to various risks and uncertainties,
many of which are difficult to predict and generally beyond the control of
sanofi-aventis, that could cause actual results and developments to differ
materially from those expressed in, or implied or projected by, the
forward-looking information and statements. These risks and uncertainties
include those discussed or identified in the public filings with the SEC and
the AMF made by sanofi-aventis, including those listed under "Risk Factors"
and "Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Statements" in
sanofi-aventis' annual report on Form 20-F for the year ended December 31,
2006. Other than as required by applicable law, sanofi-aventis does not
undertake any obligation to update or revise any forward-looking information
(1) Public Health Agency of Canada, Canada Communicable Disease Report,
Vol. 33, 1 July 2007. National Advisory on Immunization (NACI).
Statement on Influenza Vaccination for the 2007 - 2008 Season.
For further information:
For further information: Nancy Simpson, Sanofi pasteur, Tel: (416)