Sanofi Pasteur announces FDA approval of four-strain flu vaccine
The FDA approved the supplemental biologics license application for Sanofi's Fluzone Quadrivalent vaccine. The vaccine is now licensed for use in children six months of age and older, adolescents and adults.
"Sanofi Pasteur is committed to providing new immunization options for the prevention of influenza to help healthcare providers meet the specific immunization needs of all types of patients, and we are excited to introduce Fluzone Quadrivalent vaccine as an important new addition to our Fluzone family of specialized influenza vaccines," David Greenberg, the vice president U.S. Scientific and Medical Affairs for Sanofi Pasteur, said.
The 2013 influenza season will be the first in which quadrivalent influenza vaccines will be available in the U.S., including two A strains and two B strains to protect against the disease. Previous seasonal influenza vaccines only included one B strain.
"Protection against the type B flu strain may be an especially important factor that healthcare providers consider when immunizing children since influenza B causes a substantial number of illnesses, hospitalizations and deaths in the pediatric population," Greenberg said.
In recent flu seasons, up to 44 percent of influenza-related deaths in children and adolescents 18 years and younger were the result of influenza B.
The Fluzone Quadrivalent vaccine will be available to U.S. healthcare providers for the 2013-2014 season.