This fall, take the ouch out of flu vaccination

~ FluMist®, the only needle-free influenza vaccine, is now available at pharmacies across Canada ~

MISSISSAUGA, ON, Sept. 12, 2011 /CNW/ - Flu season is just around the corner, so it's time to start thinking about how to protect your family against the seasonal flu. Each year, an estimated 10 to 25 per cent of Canadians could contract the flu,1 with children two to three times more likely than adults to come down with the virus.2 Studies suggest that vaccinating children against seasonal flu protects the family and community at large against the spread of influenza.3

"Because children spend a lot of time in highly-populated areas, such as schools, they have the highest rates of influenza - the flu - and young children are also at high risk of associated complications. Moreover, the children are the primary spreaders of the infection to the rest of the community, including other high risk groups," says Dr. Earl Rubin, Program Director, McGill Pediatric Infectious Diseases Residency Program at the Montreal. Children's Hospital. "Yearly vaccination with an influenza vaccine is the best way to protect the children and the people around them. Despite this, we continue to see low vaccination rates amongst children, even though it's widely regarded by experts as one of the best ways to prevent the spread of the influenza virus."

To help protect against seasonal influenza, FluMist® [Influenza Vaccine (Live, Attenuated)], the only needle-free vaccine, is available this fall at local pharmacies and doctors' offices across Canada.  FluMist® is a gentle mist sprayed into the nose, where the influenza virus typically enters the body,4 inducing protective immunity.

"With FluMist®, parents can feel reassured that their children can be protected against influenza with a safe and effective vaccine, without having to experience the discomfort that comes with the traditional injectable vaccine," says Dr. Rubin.

Clinical trials demonstrate that in children ages two to 17, FluMist® significantly reduced the number of influenza cases compared to the traditional flu shot.Furthermore, in children two to five years of age, FluMist® reduced the number of influenza cases by more than 50 per cent, compared to the flu shot.6

More information about FluMist® is available at www.flumistcanada.ca.

ABOUT INFLUENZA IN CANADA
Influenza is the most common vaccine-preventable disease in the developed world.7 According to the Public Health Agency of Canada, between 4,000 and 8,000 Canadians can die of influenza and its complications annually, depending on the severity of the season.8 Current guidelines from NACI encourage influenza vaccination for all Canadians who have no contraindication.9

ABOUT FLUMIST
FluMist® is available at pharmacies across the country and must be administered by a healthcare professional.1 Approved for the prevention of seasonal influenza in Canadians two to 59 years of age,11 FluMist® is a preservative-free vaccine that uses live virus strains recommended by the World Health Organization (northern hemisphere) for this influenza season12,13 that are weakened so as not to cause the flu.14

Available in the U.S. since 2003, FluMist® has been studied in more than 140,000 people and more than 39 million doses have been manufactured and distributed in the U.S. alone.

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

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 www.astrazeneca.ca.


 

1 Health Canada. Influenza 2009. http://www.hc-sc.ca/hl-vs/iyh-vsv/diseases-maladies/flu-grippe-eng.php.  Accessed  August 19, 2011.

2 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC); National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, 2009. http://www.niaid.nih.gov/topics/flu/understandingflu/pages/definitionsoverview.aspx. Accessed August 9, 2011.

3 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC); National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, 2009. http://www.niaid.nih.gov/topics/flu/understandingflu/pages/definitionsoverview.aspx. Accessed August 9, 2011.

4 Health Canada. Influenza 2009. http://www.hc-sc.ca/hl-vs/iyh-vsv/diseases-maladies/flu-grippe-eng.php.  Accessed  August 19, 2011.

5 Flumist Product Monograph, 2011.

6 Belshe RB, et al.  New England Journal of Medicine,  2007; 356:685-696

7 AstraZeneca Annual Report and Form 20-F Information 2009. Infection: Influenza virus. http://www.astrazeneca-annualreports.com/2009/directors_report/therapy_area_review/infection/index.html. Accessed August 4, 2010.

8 Health Canada. Influenza 2009. http://www.hc-sc.ca/hl-vs/iyh-vsv/diseases-maladies/flu-grippe-eng.php.  Accessed  August 19, 2011.

9 Canada Communicable Disease Report (CCDR). Statement of Seasonal Trivalent Inactivated influenza Vaccine (TIV) for 2010-2011, 2009.

1 Flumist Product Monograph, 2011.

11 Flumist Product Monograph, 2011.

12 Flumist Product Monograph, 2011.

13 Flumist Product Monograph, 2011.

14 Flumist Product Monograph, 2011.

 

 

SOURCE AstraZeneca Canada Inc.

For further information:

Erica Adelson                      Jennifer Gordon
Edelman            AstraZeneca Canada
Tel: 416-849-8913           Tel: 905-804-4901 
erica.adelson@edelman.com          jennifer.gordon@astrazeneca.com

 


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