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Sanofi Pasteur Shipping First Doses of Influenza Vaccine for the 2008-2009 Season in the US
Date:8/1/2008

SWIFTWATER, Pa. and LYON, France, Aug. 1 /PRNewswire/ -- Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccines division of sanofi-aventis Group, began shipping influenza vaccine (Fluzone(R), Influenza Virus Vaccine) in the United States for the 2008-2009 season. The first 1.3 million doses of influenza vaccine began shipping this week following marketing clearance of the 2008-2009 formulation by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on July 14, 2008.

Vaccine shipments to health-care providers and to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for distribution through the Vaccines for Children Program will continue through the fall and are planned to be completed in October.

This year's influenza vaccine contains three new strains of the influenza virus, A/Brisbane/59/2007 (H1N1)-like virus; A/Brisbane/10/2007 (H3N2)-like virus; B/Florida/4/2006-like virus. The three strains for the new influenza vaccine formulation were confirmed by the FDA's Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee in February 2008 and correspond with recommendations made by the World Health Organization in February. Unlike other routinely recommended vaccines whose formulation remains constant over time, influenza vaccine is formulated each year to match the strains predicted to circulate during the upcoming season.

"Introduction of three new strains for the influenza vaccine was unprecedented and could have resulted in a low yield or delay given our tight production timeline. Despite these challenges, we are pleased that once again sanofi pasteur has demonstrated its reliability in supplying Fluzone vaccine to the U.S. market," said Wayne Pisano, President and Chief Executive Officer, sanofi pasteur. "The early shipment of Fluzone vaccine by sanofi pasteur gives health-care providers greater flexibility in planning their vaccination efforts."

As the world's leading influenza vaccine manufacturer, sanofi pasteur produces approximately half of the influen
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SOURCE Sanofi Pasteur
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