SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 25, 2016

Study finds GSK's FluLaval Quadrivalent protects children against flu

GlaxoSmithKline, plc, a research-based pharmaceutical company, announced on Wednesday that a new peer-reviewed study shows that GSK's FluLaval Quadrivalent vaccine is effective in preventing seasonal flu in children.

The study, which was issued online by the New England Journal of Medicine, found that FluLaval Quadrivalent reduced flu cases among children ages three to eight years old by 55.4 percent overall and lowered the risk of developing moderate-to-serious flu illness by 73.1 percent. The large-scale clinical trial was the first trial conducted to review the safety and effectiveness of a four-strain flu vaccine among children.

GSK said the trial was one of the pivotal studies behind the recent U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval of FluLaval Quadrivalent.

"The U.S. Centers for Disease Control recommends all children get vaccinated each flu season," Leonard Friedland, the vice president and director of scientific affairs and public health for GSK Vaccines North America, said. "This is in response to how many children require flu-related medical care, and given that as many as 20,000 U.S. children are hospitalized each year due to complications of the flu. This study provides robust safety and efficacy data on FluLaval Quadrivalent, and evidence of the clinical benefit of vaccination with FluLaval Quadrivalent as demonstrated by the prevention of moderate-to-severe cases of influenza among children."

Quadrivalent flu vaccines, which are newly available this flu season, protect against four of the flu strains that are in circulation during a flu season. Previous flu vaccines were limited to protecting against three influenza strains.

Seasonal influenza causes an estimated three to five million cases of severe illness and up to 500,000 deaths annually worldwide. Influenza vaccination is one of the most effective ways to prevent mortality, complications and hospitalizations.