“Ouch less” Vaccine Delivery

With the launch of the Fluzone Intradermal influenza virus vaccine, Sanofi Pasteur has provided a new option for vaccine administration in the United States. The first flu vaccine using a microinjection system for intradermal delivery in the United States, Fluzone Intradermal is indicated for adults ages 18 to 64, an age group with traditionally low rates of immunization.
 
The system features an integrated ultra-fine 0.06-in. needle that is 90 percent shorter than the typical needle used in intramuscular injection of flu vaccine.
 
The prefillable syringe system was developed with Becton, Dickinson, and Co. and uses BD’s Soluvia microinjection system. The vaccine is administered in a novel injection technique with the needle placed perpendicular to the skin. After injection, the clinician pushes firmly on the plunger to activate a needle shielding system.
 
In intradermal injection, the needle administers the vaccine to dendritic cells just beneath the skin. These specialized cells enhance the vaccine’s presentation to the immune system. In clinical trials, Fluzone Intradermal produced an immune response similar to Fluzone administered intramuscularly, with Fluzone Intradermal administered in a lower dose size.
 
Distribution for the 2011–2012 flu season will be nationwide to immunization providers but limited after Sanofi received mid-year license from FDA, Sanofi announced.
Sanofi Pasteur uses the BD Soluvia microinjection system for its Vaxigrip suspension for injection influenza vaccine, delivered under the brand names Intanza and IDflu, to over 40 countries.
 
FDA has advised that while pain, redness, and swelling symptoms at the delivery site may be slightly elevated with the intradermal injection, side effects are generally similar to those of intramuscular injection.
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