(BPT) - Mother, author, and actress Tia Mowry is joining forces with MedImmune’s FluMist® Quadrivalent to encourage families across the nation to practice healthy habits, including getting vaccinated to help fight the flu. The campaign aims to raise awareness about the severity of influenza and the importance of vaccination for the entire family.
“Influenza is a contagious respiratory virus that can lead to serious complications, including bronchitis and pneumonia,”1 said Dr. Amisha Malhotra, a specialist in pediatric infectious diseases at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital. “The flu is spread from person to person when tiny droplets released by an infected person are breathed in by another person2 – infecting 5 to 20 percent of the U.S. population each year.”3
Like many mothers, Tia makes sure her family practices healthy eating habits, lives an active lifestyle, and frequently washes their hands during cold and flu season. But this year, she’s taking another important step and getting her family vaccinated – the single best way to prevent the flu.2
Despite recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that everyone 6 months and older get vaccinated each year,2 less than half of adults and just over half of children in the U.S. get vaccinated.*4 For this reason, Tia is encouraging parents to learn about the benefits of flu vaccination for their family.
“As a busy working mom, there are a million things to get done each day, but I insist on taking time to focus on my family’s health,” Mowry said. “I asked my doctor about the vaccine options available this flu season and learned I actually had a lot of choices! In addition to the flu shot, there’s also a needle-free nasal mist.”
For the first time in the 2013-2014 flu season, consumers may also have a choice regarding the number of flu strains contained in a vaccine. Historically, seasonal flu vaccines – known as trivalent – have protected against three subtypes of influenza viruses that commonly circulate among people today: influenza A (H1N1) viruses, influenza A (H3N2) viruses, and one lineage of influenza B viruses.5
“Now, we have quadrivalent vaccines – like FluMist Quadrivalent – that help protect against two subtypes of influenza A, but also two lineages of influenza B,”6 Dr. Malhotra said. “The inclusion of a second B strain helps provide additional protection against influenza B strains that may circulate in the next flu season.”6
“Together with my doctor, we decided that FluMist Quadrivalent was the best choice for my family,” Mowry shared. “And I encourage others to talk to their healthcare providers about which flu vaccine may be best for them.”
To watch Tia’s funny video on why influenza vaccination is important in her life, visit www.YouTube.com/InsistOnTheMist. For more information about FluMist Quadrivalent, visit www.InsistOnTheMist.com and talk to your healthcare provider.
*Based on the most recent available data from the 2012-2013 season
Important Safety and Eligibility Information
What is FluMist® Quadrivalent (Influenza Vaccine Live, Intranasal)?
FluMist Quadrivalent is a vaccine that is sprayed into the nose to help protect against influenza. It can be used in children, adolescents, and adults ages 2 through 49. FluMist Quadrivalent is similar to MedImmune's trivalent influenza vaccine, except FluMist Quadrivalent provides protection against an additional influenza strain. FluMistQuadrivalent may not prevent influenza in everyone who gets vaccinated.
Who should not get FluMist Quadrivalent?
You should not get FluMist Quadrivalent if you have a severe allergy to eggs, gentamicin, gelatin, or arginine; have ever had a life-threatening reaction to influenza vaccinations; or are 2 through 17 years old and take aspirin or medicines containing aspirin– children or adolescents should not be given aspirin for 4 weeks after getting FluMist® (Influenza Vaccine Live, Intranasal) or FluMist Quadrivalent unless your healthcare provider tells you otherwise.
Children under 2 years old have an increased risk of wheezing (difficulty with breathing) after getting FluMist Quadrivalent.
Who may not be able to get FluMist Quadrivalent?
Tell your healthcare provider if you or your child are currently wheezing; have a history of wheezing if under 5 years old; have had Guillain-Barré syndrome; have a weakened immune system or live with someone who has a severely weakened immune system; have problems with your heart, kidneys, or lungs; have diabetes; are pregnant or nursing; or are taking Tamiflu®, Relenza®, amantadine, or rimantadine.
Your healthcare provider will decide if FluMist Quadrivalent is right for you or your child.
What are the most common side effects of FluMist Quadrivalent?
The most common side effects are runny or stuffy nose, sore throat, and fever over 100°F.
Please see complete Product Information, including Patient Information.
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1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Flu Symptoms & Severity. http://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/disease/symptoms.htm. Accessed July 17, 2013.
2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Key Facts about Influenza (Flu) & Flu Vaccine. http://www.cdc.gov/flu/keyfacts.htm. Accessed July 17, 2013.
3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Seasonal Influenza: Questions & Answers. http://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/qa/disease.htm. Accessed July 17, 2013.
4. Kennedy, ED. Influenza Vaccination Coverage: How Well Did We Do in 2012-2013. Presented at the National Adult and Influenza Immunization Summit; May 15, 2013; Atlanta, Georgia.
5. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Key Facts About Seasonal Flu Vaccine. http://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/keyfacts.htm. Accessed July 31, 2013.
6. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Vaccines, Blood & Biologics: Influenza Virus Vaccine for the 2013-2014 Season. http://www.fda.gov/BiologicsBloodVaccines/GuidanceComplianceRegulatoryInformation/Post-MarketActivities/LotReleases/ucm343828.htm. Accessed July 30, 2013.