Despite forecasts that there will be an unprecedented boost in global demand for the flu vaccine this year, Sanofi Pasteur Korea said Friday it will continue to provide free inoculations for the homeless.
“Due to COVID-19 this year, we have seen an unprecedented increase in influenza vaccine demand as health authorities seek to prevent what is preventable and keep people who are at risk of influenza safe,” a company official said.
Sanofi Pasteur anticipates around a 20 percent increase in the number of doses it will distribute this season, compared to last year.
As of end-July, the company’s flu vaccines have arrived in Korea for a faster-than-usual supply schedule and are undergoing a state review process.
Sanofi Pasteur will seek to fulfill as much extra needs as possible and stay committed to supporting as many public vaccination programs as it can.
“Those experiencing homelessness are vulnerable to infectious diseases due to poor environmental hygiene and insufficient attention to health care. The importance of the influenza vaccine this year is even more significant due to the coronavirus pandemic,” said the official, adding that Sanofi Pasteur is discussing with Seoul Metropolitan City Government and Seoul Medical Center about the best way to carry out inoculations, with the safety of frontline medical workers being a priority.
Sanofi Pasteur supplies flu vaccines in Korea in both active pharmaceutical ingredient and finished product. The API is used by other pharmas here to include in other brand names of flu vaccine.
Sanofi Pasteur distributes vaccines in 80 countries in the Northern Hemisphere. In Korea, Sanofi Pasteur is also jointly developing a next-generation pneumonia vaccine with SK Bioscience.
By Lim Jeong-yeo (email@example.com