FDA clears new flu vaccine to increase protection against disease

Just in time for flu season, the Food and Drug Administration has cleared a live virus vaccine that can help adults ages 18 to 49 get the flu better. The flu shot, called FluMist, is approved to offer protection against H3N2, Influenza A H1N1 and/or Influenza B viruses. It’s still expensive though — around $22 a shot.

As first reported by WWD and other outlets, the FDA approved the drug maker, MedImmune, to make a live virus vaccine that will offer the protection that’s missing from vaccines that rely on weakened live viruses.

“This vaccine is targeted at giving protection against severe, flu-associated illnesses and will be effective when given with the additional adjuvant (needed for some kids to tolerate it),” said Andrew J. von Eschenbach, M.D., president and chief executive officer of Biocompatibles, a subsidiary of BioCryst Pharmaceuticals Inc. “When it is the only treatment, the need for the adjuvant is less, reducing a patient’s number of days in the hospital. The dose of [live] virus can vary from year to year.”

The FDA approved the drug for use on Jan. 7 for adults 18 to 49 years old with nasal and throat infections from different virus types.

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