GSK supports National Immunisation Program with four strain flu vaccine for 2016

GSK Australia is proud to be partnering with the Australian Government to provide a quadrivalent (four-strain) influenza vaccine for the National Immunisation Program (NIP) for the 2016 season.

Fluarix® Tetra is a four-strain flu vaccine indicated for the active immunisation of adults and children from 3 years of age for the prevention of influenza disease caused by the influenza virus types A and B contained in the vaccine.1 Most flu vaccines today contain three strains of flu. Four-strain flu vaccines include an additional B strain of influenza.1

Dr Andrew Weekes, Medical Director at GSK, said: “GSK is delighted to be making this four-strain influenza vaccine available for the National Immunisation Program in Australia. The vaccine contains inactivated A and B virus strains, which can help reduce the likelihood of catching any of four different strains of seasonal flu.”

The vaccine works by causing the body to produce its own protection (antibodies) against four different types of influenza virus. The types of influenza antigen contained in Fluarix Tetra may change from one year to another. Each year, the Australian Influenza Vaccine Committee (AIVC) recommends which ones to include. This decision is based on the types of influenza virus thought most likely to occur during the next flu season. Therefore, influenza vaccination is recommended every year.2

About influenza

Influenza, or flu, is an acute viral infection that affects millions of people of all ages around the world and is caused by influenza A and B viruses. It is a major public health problem and can result in potentially serious medical complications, such as pneumonia, which can lead to hospitalisation, and can even result in death.3,4

Flu is not the same as the common cold, with both illnesses being caused by different viruses.4 Symptoms of flu tend to be much more severe and may last for longer.3 Flu has a number of symptoms, some more serious than others. It is usually accompanied by a high temperature, tiredness, sore throat and general aches and pains.3,4 You can lose your appetite, feel nauseous and have a cough.4 Adults (but more commonly children) may also experience diarrhoea and vomiting.4 Flu symptoms can make people feel so exhausted and unwell that they have to stay in bed and rest until they feel better.

About Fluarix Tetra

Most unwanted effects with Fluarix Tetra are mild and usually clear up within a few days. The most common adverse reactions are; injection site reactions (redness, swelling, pain), fever, shivering, sweating, muscle pain, fatigue, headache, irritability, drowsiness, gastrointestinal symptoms, appetite loss and joint pain. Before receiving Fluarix Tetra tell your doctor about any of the following: if you or your child has a severe infection with a high temperature (>38.5°C), if you are pregnant or plan on becoming pregnant, if you are breastfeeding, if you have Guillain-Barre Syndrome, any medical conditions, any allergies to medicines or substances, if you are taking any prescription medicines such as warfarin, theophylline, phenytoin, phenobarbitone, carbamazepine or over the counter medicines or if you have had hypersensitivity to previous Fluarix Tetra or influenza vaccines or to any component of the vaccine.

For further information about Fluarix Tetra please speak to your healthcare professional or review the Consumer Medicine Information (CMI) available at www.gsk.com.au/fluarix-tetra

Fluarix Tetra is currently not available on the National Immunisation Program (NIP) or the Pharmaceutical Benefit Scheme (PBS). In 2016, Fluarix Tetra will be available on the NIP.

Additional notes:

The information contained within this media release does not contain all the available information. It does not take the place of talking to healthcare professionals. Please speak to your healthcare professional for further information about Fluarix Tetra.

#Ends

MEDIA CONTACT:           

Kim O’Donohue, GSK

0477 322 431

kim.j.odonohue@gsk.com

 

About GSK

GSK – one of the world’s leading research-based pharmaceutical and healthcare companies – is committed to improving the quality of human life by enabling people to do more, feel better and live longer.  For further information please visit www.gsk.com.au.  

If you are an Australian healthcare professional please visit www.health.gsk.com for more information on Fluarix Tetra.

You can follow GSK on Twitter for more Australian updates @GSK_AU  If you are an Australian healthcare professional please visit www.health.gsk.com for more information on GSK vaccines.

You can follow GSK on Twitter for more Australian updates @GSK_AU.

Disclosures

GlaxoSmithKline Australia Pty Ltd. Melbourne, VIC. ABN 47 100 162 481. 

Fluarix® is a registered trade mark of the GSK group of companies. AUS/FLU6/0001/15

Date of approval: 6 November 2015.

References

  1. Fluarix Tetra Approved Product Information, www.gsk.com.au/fluarix-tetra
  2. Fluarix Tetra CMI: /media/216312/fluarix_tetra_cmi_au_002_approved.pdf
  3.  World Health Organization. Fact Sheet No 211– Influenza (Seasonal). March 2014 http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs211/en/index.html (accessed 6/11/15)
  4. US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Flu Symptoms & Severity. http://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/disease/symptoms.htm (accessed 6/11/15).
  5. US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Seasonal Influenza Q&A. http://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/qa/disease.htm (accessed 6/11/15)