Influenza Vaccines Arrive Ahead of the Flu

Fluzone and Flublok influenza vaccines from Sanofi Pasteur begin shipping to doctors, nurses, and pharmacists

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Each flu season is very unpredictable, making the production of flu vaccines an annual ‘hit or miss’ challenge.

Most healthcare providers say one of the best tactics to avoid getting influenza is to get the flu shot early in the season before the virus gets you!

That’s one of the reasons Sanofi Pasteur announced today the initial shipment of nearly 70 million flu vaccine doses to various healthcare providers.

For the 2018/19 flu season, Sanofi Pasteur relies on an egg-based production process to produce influenza vaccines Fluzone® High-Dose and Fluzone® Quadrivalent:

  • Fluzone High-Dose vaccine is the first and only flu vaccine shown to have superior efficacy compared to Fluzone vaccine in helping to protect against the flu in adults 65 years of age and older (24.2 percent more effective).
  • Fluzone Quadrivalent vaccine: Helps protect against four flu strains (two A strains and two B strains) and was the first four-strain flu vaccine licensed for use in people 6 months of age and older.

In addition to egg-based flu vaccines, Sanofi Pasteur is now offering Flublok® Quadrivalent, which is manufactured using an egg-free recombinant DNA technology.

  • Flublok Quadrivalent vaccine is indicated for adults 18 years of age and older and is the only recombinant protein-based flu vaccine approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), uniquely providing an exact genetic match of hemagglutinin (HA) from each recommended vaccine virus.

This process produces an exact genetic match to the binding proteins found on the surface of the flu virus.

It starts by isolating the hemagglutinin (HA) protein from the selected FDA virus strains. The HA protein, which induces an immune response in people, is transcribed into a DNA sequence.

The host cells are reprogrammed to rapidly produce large quantities of the antigen for use in the flu vaccine.

The antigens are separated and collected from the host cells, purified, and formulated as Flublok Quadrivalent vaccine. Once the vaccine is administered, the antigen stimulates the body’s immune system to produce antibodies that can neutralize the flu virus.

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Separately, on June 20, 2018, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) immunization committee’s issued an opinion saying ‘there is no evidence of adverse fetal effects from vaccinating pregnant women with inactivated virus, bacterial vaccines, or toxoids, and a growing body of data demonstrate the safety of such use.’

Therefore, all pregnant women should receive an influenza vaccination during influenza season, said the ACOG. 

Sanofi Pasteur is the nation's largest supplier of flu vaccines for people 6 months of age and older, including the only two flu vaccines proven to help prevent more flu cases in older adults, compared to their standard-dose flu vaccine comparators.

David P. Greenberg, M.D., Associate Vice President and Regional Medical Head North America, Sanofi Pasteur said, "We are proud that in recent years we have introduced two vaccines proven to help prevent more flu than their respective standard-dose flu vaccine comparators in older adults.”

Sanofi is transforming scientific innovation into healthcare solutions around the globe. 

The CDC Vaccine Price List provides the private sector prices for general information.

Flu vaccine discounts can be found here.

Vaccines, like any medicine, can have side effects, says the CDC. You are encouraged to report negative side effects of vaccines to the FDA or CDC.