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EU approves Astra's nasal flu vaccine for kids.

AstraZeneca's nasal flu vaccine has been approved for use in Europe in children aged from two up to 18 years and is likely to be available for the 2012/13 influenza season, the drugmaker said on Tuesday.

The approval from the European Commission for Fluenz had been expected following a green light from the European Medicines Agency in October.

The vaccine, which is squirted into the nose rather than given as an injection, was developed by the drugmaker's U.S. unit MedImmune and is already on sale for both adults and children in the United States, where it is known as FluMist.

FluMist was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2003 and its roll-out in Europe will boost AstraZeneca's limited presence in the vaccines market.

AstraZeneca's vaccine contains live attenuated flu virus strains, which are weakened so as to not cause illness.

In several clinical studies it has proved more effective in children compared with traditional injectable vaccines containing inactivated strains, made by companies such as GlaxoSmithKline, Sanofi-Aventis and Novartis.

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Publication:Financial Mirror (Cyprus)
Date:Feb 1, 2011
Words:188
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