Healthcare Technology  

New tiny needle flu vaccine approved

The FDA has approved the new flu shot which will inject the vaccine into skin cells rather than muscle
 The Fluzone Intradermal vaccine
 
 

The Food and Drug Agency (FDA) has approved the use of Safoni’s ‘Fluzone Intradermal’ vaccine in America and it will be made available for the 2011-2012 flu season.

The vaccine can be used on adults between the ages of 18 and 64 years and differs from traditional flu vaccines because it uses a syringe with a very short needle.

The new Fluzone product has a needle that is 90 percent shorter than normal needles at just one tenth of an inch long.

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Normally, flu vaccines are administered through a needle with a length of approximately one to one-and-a-half inches but Sanofi says the sight of such a long needle is distressing for patients.

Rather than injecting the vaccine into the muscle like previous flu shots, the Fluzone injects it into skin cells.

Sanofi says that the dermis – the layer just under the surface – has a high concentration of dendritic cells, which are one of the key players in generating an immune response.

Although the company has said that patients prefer the new shorter needle that the Fluzone Intradermal has to offer, it is not yet known whether it is any less painful than longer needles.

However, company research did find that reactions around the injection site (redness, swelling and itching), were more common with the new vaccine.

The product is already available in Canada, Europe and Australia being marketed by Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccine division of French drug giant Sanfoi.

It is hoped that now the Fluzone Intradermal has been made available in America it will increase the rates of influenza immunisation in adults in the US.

Flu shots are recommended for most American’s although many adults don’t have them.

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