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26 Aug 2013

Novartis Begins Shipment of Influenza Vaccines Early

Winter flu can be a huge problem as the cold weather sets in, proving very dangerous to infants and elderly people in particular.

With harsh weather conditions in 2012 and an extended winter season Novartis has chosen to begin its US shipment of seasonal influenza vaccines early.

It plans to distribute a minimum of 30 million doses of vaccines such as Fluvrin and Flucelvax, both of which have demonstrated safety and were shown to help protect against World Health Organisation-identified strains of the influenza virus in clinical trials.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends routine vaccination for individuals six months of age and older and advises that those over 50, children under five, people with immunosuppression, nursing home and care residents should be of high priority.

Dr William Schaffner, professor of medicine and preventative medicine at Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee, said: "Last year's flu season, which peaked early and was intense, is a significant reminder of the importance of annual seasonal flu vaccination."

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