SWIFTWATER, Pa., Nov. 26 Sanofi Pasteur, thevaccines division of the sanofi-aventis Group (NYSE: SNY), joins the influenzaimmunization community in recognizing the importance of National InfluenzaVaccination Week (NIVW) by supporting educational activities that raiseawareness of influenza immunization recommendations and the need to continueto vaccinate throughout the holidays, in December, January, and beyond.
NIVW (November 26-December 2) is sponsored by the U.S. Centers for DiseaseControl and Prevention (CDC), the Department of Health and Human Services(DHHS), and the National Influenza Vaccine Summit, a public-privatepartnership sponsored by CDC and the American Medical Association.
As an original member and active participant of the National InfluenzaVaccine Summit, the company is proud to help build widespread support forvaccination during this week and beyond in an effort to support public healthgoals and save lives.
Sanofi Pasteur supports several national educational programs andcollaborations with not-for-profit organizations that are dedicated toadvancing preventive health for all Americans. These programs reach theAmerican public, including health-care providers, with the same important NIVWmessage encouraging the public to seek vaccination throughout the influenzaseason in support of CDC recommendations. According to the CDC, whileinfluenza typically peaks in February, vaccination is recommended throughoutthe influenza season because the vaccine continues to be beneficial even ifinfluenza activity has begun in the community.
As the world's leading vaccine manufacturer, sanofi pasteur producesapproximately 40 percent of the influenza vaccine distributed in the UnitedStates. Sanofi Pasteur is committed to raising immunization rates andimproving global access to vaccines. As part of this commitment, the companyis expanding its influenza vaccine production facility in the United States.This expansion, expected to come on-line by the end of 2008 or in early 2009,should more than double U.S. production capacity.
Influenza remains a very serious disease and is the seventh leading causeof death in America. One in five people on average are infected with influenzaeach year, causing about 226,000 hospitalizations and 36,000 deaths annually.This year, the anticipated 132 million doses that will be available on themarket will exceed historical supply of influenza vaccine in the UnitedStates. By using the entire vaccination season and every opportunity toimmunize, and by using all of the supply this year from all manufacturers,health-care providers can protect more people, help prepare an infrastructurefor a possible influenza pandemic, and reduce influenza-associatedhospitalizations and deaths.
Influenza Vaccine Recommendations
The CDC recommends influenza immunization for all persons who want toreduce the risk of becoming ill with influenza or of transmitting the virus toothers, including school-aged children. Annual vaccination is especiallyimportant for children 6 through 59 months of age, persons 50 years of age andolder, pregnant women, and anyone 6 months of age and older with a chronicmedical condition such as asthma and diabetes. The vaccine also is recommendedfor persons who live with or care for persons at high risk, includinghousehold contacts and health-care workers.
About Fluzone Vaccine
Fluzone(R) Influenza Virus Vaccine is the only influenza vaccine licensedfor populations 6 months and older. A Fluzone vaccine formulation (trade name:Fluzone(R), Influenza Virus Vaccine, No Preservative) that does not contain apreservative at any stage in the manufacturing process was introduced in2004-2005. It was the first FDA-licensed injectable influenza vaccine to bemanufactured in this way.
The 2007-2008 influenza vaccine formulation contains an A/SolomonIslands/3/2006 (H1N1)-