AstraZeneca has announced the first shipment of Flumist Quadrivalent vaccine doses have been sent to the US for the upcoming influenza season.

Flumist is currently the only nasal-spray flu vaccine and is indicated for use in individuals aged two through to 49.

The US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recently highlighted the importance of flu vaccination rates for the 2020-21 season, in a bid to reduce the pressure on the healthcare system in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Vaccination against the flu could mitigate the burden on the healthcare system if there is a resurgence or continuation of COVID-19 during that time.

AZ has also increased production of Flumist doses in the US by over 25% more than previously planned, and expects to make the majority of these available by the end of September.

“AstraZeneca has a long-standing commitment to putting the needs of patients first and protecting public health – and this year it is critical given the current pandemic,” said Mina Makar, SVP, US Respiratory and Immunology at AZ.

“To that end, AstraZeneca has increased manufacturing capacity and accelerated vaccine development to ensure we can confidently meet the needs of consumers and the healthcare system.

“We are proud to provide FLUMIST QUADRIVALENT – the only nasal-spray flu vaccine – which helps play a key role in the fight against flu in the US.”