The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a refrigerated form of FluMist, the nasal-spray influenza vaccine, which should be more convenient for providers than the current formulation, MedImmune Inc. announced.
FluMist, a live attenuated vaccine first approved in 2003, is currently approved for use in healthy children and adults from ages 5 to 49 years.
The new formulation will allow healthcare providers to store the vaccine in a refrigerator rather than a freezer as now required, said Frank M. Malinoski, MD, PhD, senior vice president of medical and scientific affairs at MedImmune, based in Gaithersburg, Md.
“We recognize that the frozen storage presented difficulties for some physician practices as well as for providers who administer vaccine in places like schools, pharmacies, and grocery stores, and we are confident that this improvement will enhance access to this important vaccine,” he said in a news release.
The new FluMist formulation, known in clinical studies as cold adapted influenza vaccine trivalent (CAIV-T), will be available for the 2007-08 flu season. MedImmune said the frozen and refrigerated formulations are free of preservatives, including thimerosal.