The pharmaceutical company increased production by more than 25% in the United States.
AstraZeneca announced the first shipment of its intranasal influenza vaccine live (FluMist Quadrivalent) doses in the United States in preparation of the 2020-2021 influenza season.
In anticipation of a potentially early and condensed influenza season, AstraZeneca increased production of the vaccine by more than 25% in the United States. Influenza vaccine live, intranasal could be available as early as August.
The vaccine is the only inoculation administered by nasal spray for the flu and is indicated for individuals between the ages of 2 and 49.
The pharmaceutical company’s announcement shortly follows the CDC’s updated vaccination guidance concerning routine vaccinations amid the novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. The CDC guidance stressed the importance of maintaining regular vaccination schedules, especially for the upcoming flu season, which is anticipated to cause surges in demand due to the pandemic.
Encouraging flu vaccination additionally eases the burden on the US health care system, which has been strained by the COVID-19 pandemic. Preventative care remains vital should COVID-19 cases persist at their present levels or experience resurges in the upcoming months amid flu season.
The intranasal vaccine may be preferable to some patients and parents, according to the news release. The CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) both recommend the intranasal vaccine.
“AstraZeneca has a long-standing commitment to putting the needs of patients first and protecting public health – and this year it is critical given the current pandemic,” said Mina Makar, senior vice president of US Respiratory and Immunology at AstraZeneca.
“To that end, AstraZeneca has increased manufacturing capacity and accelerated vaccine development to ensure we can confidently meet the needs of consumers and the healthcare system. We are proud to provide FluMist Quadrivalent – the only nasal-spray flu vaccine – which helps play a key role in the fight against flu in the US.”