Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccines division of Sanofi (Euronext:SAN) (NYSE: SNY), announced on Thursday that the first lots of Fluzone (Influenza Virus Vaccine) for the 2013-2014 season have been released by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for US distribution and were shipped on 24 July 2013.
Reportedly, this shipment represents the first of over 60 million doses of seasonal influenza vaccine the company plans to deliver to US health care providers this autumn. This influenza vaccine is anticipated to be available to the public from local health care providers and pharmacies in August 2013.
Also, the company said that for the 2013-2014 season, two new influenza virus strains have been included in the trivalent seasonal influenza vaccine, a new A (H3N2) antigen and a new influenza B antigen. The A (H1N1) component of the vaccine is unchanged since the 2009 pandemic.
According to the company, the 2013-2014 influenza season will be the first in which quadrivalent influenza vaccines will be available in the US. Fluzone Quadrivalent vaccine includes two A strains and two B strains to help protect against influenza disease.
Sanofi also added that that no presentations of Fluzone vaccine contain natural rubber latex.