Novartis to ship at least 30 million vaccine doses for 2013-2014 flu season

CDC continues to recommend vaccination for everyone aged 6 months and older

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Novartis said Wednesday it would ship a "minimum" of 30 million doses of seasonal flu vaccine to customers in the United States this season.

The Swiss drug maker said the vaccines would include Fluvirin, used to prevent flu in patients ages 4 years and older, and Flucelvax, for use in adults. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends routine seasonal flu vaccination for everyone age 6 months and older, particularly children younger than 5 years, adults older than 50 years and people with chronic diseases, suppressed immune systems and nursing home residents.

"Last year's flu season, which peaked early and was intense, is a significant reminder of the importance of annual seasonal flu vaccination," Vanderbilt University medical professor William Schaffner said. "The CDC recommends annual influenza vaccination for all adults, and getting a flu vaccine is an important step in protecting one's health."

Both of the vaccines are trivalent, meaning they protect against three strains of flu, namely two A strains and one B strain.


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