Published Online: Thursday, November 1, 2007

CSL Limited?s (Parkville, Australia) FDA-approved seasonal influenza vaccine Afluria brings the number of flu vaccine manufacturers licensed for the United States market to 6. The vaccine is indicated to protect adults from influenza type A and type B flu viruses.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 132 million doses of the influenza vaccine are available for the 2007-2008 flu season. The US flu season can begin as early as October and can last as late as May. Every year in the United States, >200,000 individuals are hospitalized with influenza, and about 36,000 individuals die from its complications, according to the CDC.

?Routine immunization is the most effective way to prevent influenza and decrease influenza-related complications which can include serious illness and death,? explained Jesse L. Goodman, MD, MPH, director of the FDA?s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research. ?The licensure of this additional manufacturer contributes to having an adequate supply of seasonal influenza vaccine for Americans, one of the FDA?s highest priorities.?

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