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FDA approves Fluzone

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LYON, France The Food and Drug Administration has approved a flu vaccine from Sanofi Pasteur for use in elderly people, the vaccine maker announced.

Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccine division of French drug maker Sanofi-Aventis, announced the approval of its supplemental biologics license application for Fluzone High-Dose for use in adults ages 65 years and older. The vaccine will be available to healthcare providers this fall for the 2010-2011 flu season.

“This new addition to Sanofi Pasteur’s vaccine portfolio reflects our long-standing commitment to public health and to research and development of new vaccines for enhanced prevention of influenza,” Sanofi Pasteur president and CEO Wayne Pisano said in a statement. “In 2011, the first baby boomers will turn 65 and, by the year 2030, the number of adults over age 65 is anticipated to double and surpass 70 million people, or 20% of the U.S. population.”

While seasonal flu is a mere nuisance for young and middle-aged people, it can be deadly for the elderly, who account for 65% of flu-related hospitalizations and 90% of flu-related deaths each year.

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