Sneezers and snifflers, rejoice. Relief from the dreaded flu or influenza is just a step away; from the fridge. MedImmune, the company that had in 2003 released the FluMist, a popular influenza virus vaccine has come out with a better version of it which has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration, USA (FDA).
Going by the same name FluMist, or by its clinical name CAIV-T (cold adapted influenza vaccine-trivalent) this product can now be refrigerated instead of having to be kept frozen.
Why this makes a difference is that it will now be able to overcome problems of convenience. Being able to be stored in a simple fridge, instead of freezer, it can now be readily available in schools, pharmacies, groceries, etc.
Hence MedImmune is urging health providers across US to adopt the intranasal spray.
FluMist has been released following extensive clinical trials in around 60,000 patients aged between 6 weeks to 98 years. Results show a reduction by 55 percent, in incidence of influenza caused by any strain of the flu virus.
FluMist is now permitted by FDA to be prescribed as a vaccine for preventing influenza in healthy patients between 5 to 49 years of age.
The new version of FluMist is primed to hit stores in time for the 2007-2008 flu season.
Encourages Frank M. Malinoski, senior vice president, medical and scientific affairs (MedImmune)"The new formulation can be conveniently stored in a standard refrigerator rather than frozen, as previously required and we are confident that this improvement will enhance access to this important vaccine."