Health Canada approves FluMist for preventing seasonal influenza

Published on July 14, 2010 at 8:03 AM · No Comments

~ Health Canada approval of FluMist(R) offers Canadians a safe, more effective option to protect against the flu ~

AstraZeneca Canada Inc. announced today that Health Canada has approved FluMist(R) (Influenza Vaccine, Live, Attenuated) for the prevention of seasonal influenza. FluMist is the first vaccine in Canada that is administered as a gentle mist sprayed into the nose.

This unique, needle-free administration method allows the vaccine to enter the nose where the influenza virus usually enters the body, inducing protective immunity. Additionally, clinical studies have shown that, compared to the injectable vaccine, FluMist demonstrates greater effectiveness against matched and mismatched strains in children two to 17 years of age and guards against late outbreaks of infection. In children two to five years of age, FluMist reduced the number of influenza cases by more than 50 per cent, compared to the injectable vaccine.

Despite the World Health Organization's recommendation that vaccination is the most effective way to prevent seasonal flu infection, only 31.7 per cent of Canadians aged 12 or older were vaccinated against the flu in 2008. According to a recent survey, almost a quarter of Canadian parents do not think the current vaccine works and 60 per cent would prefer a nasal administration of the vaccine for their children.

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