Sanofi Prepares, Distributes 70 Million Vaccine Doses for 2018-19 Influenza Season

Kevin Kunzmann
Published Online: Thursday, August 2nd, 2018
A little more than 6 months since researchers addressed the mutated H3N2 strain that resulted in abnormally high rates of influenza outbreak in the US, vaccine manufacturers have finalized work for the next flu season.

Sanofi Pasteur, Sanofi’s vaccine division stationed in Swiftwater, PA, has manufactured about 70 million doses for the upcoming 2018-19 US flu season, with the first round of shipments anticipated to reach physicians and customers throughout August.

The cyclical vaccine production process is bookended by the newest strain’s distribution in the late summer, and the selection of strains by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the CDC on March 1. Regardless the trend of previous years’ strains or mutations, manufacturers are working on limited clinical insight as to how best manage the upcoming year’s flu.

David Greenberg, MD, associate vice president and regional medical head of North America for Sanofi, told MD Magazine® it’s difficult enough to predict whether the flu will spread more in October, or later in the season like January—let alone predicting which strain will dominate in cases.

“People try to get some idea from what’s happening now in the Southern Hemisphere, but it’s hard to predict,” Greenberg said. “As to whether 1 particular strain will be dominant or another, we don’t know. That’s why we have 4 strains.”

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