25. July 2012 17:19
Annual influenza vaccinations will be offered to all children aged two to 17 in the UK from 2014.
A nasal spray of the Fluenz vaccine will be used rather than an injectable form, except with children in high-risk groups.
The vaccination programme – the first of its kind in the world – is predicted to save 2,000 lives per year given only moderate uptake (30%).
As well as saving many children’s lives it could protect non-vaccinated people, especially elderly family members, through the ‘herd immunity’ effect.
The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) said the vaccine would be offered to nine million children in the UK, more than doubling the number of vaccinations available.
According to the Chief Medical Officer for England, Professor Dame Sally Davies, if only 30% of these children receive the vaccine there will be 11,000 fewer hospital admissions and 2,000 fewer deaths.
The vaccination will be optional and will depend primarily on GP surgeries, as there are too few school nurses to deliver the programme.
AstraZeneca’s Fluenz is a live attenuated vaccine sold in the US as FluMist. The UK contract could be worth £100m a year to the company.
Vaccinating children could also protect vulnerable family members, including babies and the elderly – an effect known as ‘herd immunity’.
25. October 2010 17:06
The October meeting of the CHMP saw one product recommended for a marketing authorisation, alongside three generic medicines.
Influenza vaccine Fluenz (live attenuated) was given a positive opinion by the Committee, as were the generics Iasibon (ibandronic acid), Potactasol (topotecan) and Docetaxel Teva Pharma (docetaxel).
The Committee also agreed to extend the applications for extensions of the therapeutic indications for Lucentis (ranibizumab), Sprycel (dasatinib), and Sutent (sunitinib).
Three reviews were completed on the use Fabrazyme (agalsidase beta), Invirase (saquinavir) and on the use of four fibrates, with one opening regarding Octagam.
During the ongoing supply shortage, the CHMP has recommended the return of prescribing full doses of Fabrazyme. It also finalised its evaluation on Invirase and the fibrates, bezafibrate, ciprofibrate, fenofibrate and gemfibrozil, and continues to have a positive benefit-risk balance on all five.
Following the recommendation for the suspension of the marketing authorisations of Octagam at last month’s meeting due to an increased risk of thromboembolic events, the Committee has started a review. This will allow for a scientific assessment of all available data on the safety and quality issues previously identified.
Finally, the Committee recommended harmonisation of the prescribing information for Fortum (ceftazidime), Tazocin (piperacillin/tazobactam), and Vascace Plus and associated names (cilazapril/hydochlorothiazide). These were initiated after differences in the summaries of product characteristics, labelling and package leaflets where the products are marketed.