SWIFTWATER, Pa. — Sanofi Pasteur has begun shipping the first lots of its influenza vaccine for the 2012-2013 season.
The announcement follows the Food and Drug Administration licensure of the 2012-2013 formulation, the drug maker said. In addition to the strain change in the 2012-2013 vaccine, Sanofi Pasteur said its syringe presentations of Fluzone (approved for those ages 6 months and older) and Fluzone High-Dose (ages 65 years and older) vaccines have a new syringe cap that does not contain latex. All presentations of Fluzone vaccine have the designation "does not contain latex," which should mitigate concerns about use in patients with a latex allergy.
Sanofi Pasteur also noted that the Fluzone Intradermal vaccine — which was introduced in 2011 with limited availability — will be widely available for the 2012-2013 season. The formulation is recommended for those ages 18 years to 64 to years.
"This year, two new virus strains were recommended for the seasonal influenza vaccine formulation," Sanofi Pasteur VP and chief commercial officer Chad Hoover said. "It is a tremendous logistical challenge for public health to try to immunize everyone 6 months of age and older in the few months prior to influenza season. As the supplier of nearly half of the nation's influenza vaccine, it was a critical challenge for us to be early to market so that healthcare providers had confidence in their supply of influenza vaccine. With the confidence of early vaccine delivery, healthcare providers can start immunizing sooner and commit to scheduling immunization clinics throughout the season."