Increased Supply of Intranasal Flu Vaccine Available for This Flu Season
Pharmacy Times® interviewed Fred Peruggia, head of marketing for respiratory and biologics vaccines at AstraZeneca, on the company’s production and distribution of an intranasal influenza (flu) vaccine (Flumist Quadrivalent) in time for the 2020-2021 flu season during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.
The discussion included a description of the intranasal flu vaccine from AstraZeneca, how it is different from a flu shot, whether the adverse effects for an intranasal flu vaccine differ from a flu shot, why the flu vaccine is so important during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the reasons an intranasal flu vaccine is specifically beneficial during the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, Peruggia explained why AstraZeneca has recently increased production of its intranasal flu vaccine beyond what was previously planned and when this increase in supply of the intranasal flu vaccine will be available to pharmacies.
Peruggia explained that this flu season, AstraZeneca is committed to investing in education for health care providers and patients in order to promote the importance of the flu vaccine during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Peruggia said, “We're investing in mobile flu clinics in particular. What we'll be doing here is providing resources for healthcare providers so that they can educate their families and their patients on the option of a mobile flu clinic in light of COVID-19 as an option for vaccination. We're also investing in a new public advertisement which is titled ‘Protection is love.’ Ultimately, this is aimed at increasing awareness of the importance of flu vaccination in particular in this season as we battle the pandemic.”
Peruggia also discussed what pharmacists can do to help spread the word regarding the new intranasal option for flu vaccines and the value of pharmacists in the delivery of flu vaccines during the COVID-19 pandemic.