Learn more about the flu

Supemtek® is a vaccine used to prevent influenza and may be given to adults 18 years and older.

Annual influenza vaccination is recommended because immunity during the year after vaccination declines and because circulating strains of influenza virus change from year to year.

Supemtek® causes your body to produce its own natural protection against influenza virus. After you receive the vaccine, your body begins to make substances called antibodies against the strains of virus that are in the vaccine.

Antibodies help your body to fight disease and are effective for the duration of the flu season. When you are exposed to the virus, the antibodies will help to keep you from getting sick. If you do get the flu, you may not be as sick.

Most flu vaccines are made by using an egg-based manufacturing process that involves growing the virus in chicken eggs.

Recombinant vaccine production, however, doesn't use chicken eggs in the process.

The recombinant method uses proteins isolated from the flu vaccine virus that are combined with a portion of another virus that grows in insect cells. The resulting "recombinant" vaccine virus is then mixed with insect cells and allowed to replicate. The flu surface protein called hemagglutinin (HA) is then harvested from these cells and purified.

Supemtek® contains 45 μg each of the four specific virus proteins (HAs) from strains chosen annually for the Northern hemisphere by the World Health Organization (WHO).

The proteins in Supemtek® have the same structure as the ones from the four flu strains the WHO has recommended for inclusion in the Northern hemisphere’s seasonal flu vaccine.

Possible side effects to know about

Like all medicines, this vaccine can cause side effects, although not everybody gets them. These are not all the possible side effects you may feel when taking Supemtek®. If you experience any side effect not listed here, contact your healthcare professional.

Severe allergic reactions

Contact your doctor or healthcare professional immediately or go to the nearest hospital emergency room right away if you experience allergic reactions that may be life-threatening. Symptoms may include difficulty breathing, shortness of breath, swelling of the face, lips, throat or tongue, cold, clammy skin, palpitations, dizziness, weakness, fainting, rash or itching.

The following side effects have been reported with Supemtek®:

Very common (may affect more than 1 in 10 people):

  • Local reactions: Pain, tenderness

  • Fatigue

  • Headache

  • Muscle pain and joint pain (in adults 18-49 years of age)

Common (may affect up to 1 in 10 people):

  • Feeling sick (nausea)

  • Local reactions: redness, swelling, hardness (induration) around the area where the vaccine is injected

  • Fever (>38°C) (in adults 18-49 years of age)

  • Shivering

  • Muscle pain and joint pain (in adults 50 years of age and older)

Uncommon (may affect up to 1 in 100 people):

  • Fever (>38°C) (in adults 50 years of age and older)

Supemtek® does not contain:

  • Egg proteins

  • Antibiotics

  • Preservatives

  • Added gelatin

Supemtek® single-dose, pre-filled syringes contain no natural rubber latex.

If you have a troublesome symptom or side effect that is not listed here or becomes bad enough to interfere with your daily activities, talk to your healthcare professional.

If you’re an adult over 18 years of age, ask your healthcare practitioner about the Supemtek® vaccine

Use the following questions to find out more from your healthcare practitioner (HCP):

  • What’s the difference between the Supemtek® vaccine and flu vaccines made without recombinant technology?

  • Do I have any pre-existing health conditions that could make the flu more dangerous for me? If so, what are the other risks if I get infected with the flu?

  • What are my options to help prevent the flu as a patient with chronic health conditions?

Get Supemtek®

    Indication and safety information:

    Supemtek® is a vaccine used to prevent influenza. This vaccine may be given to adults 18 years and older. Annual influenza vaccination is recommended because immunity during the year after vaccination declines and because circulating strains of influenza virus change from year to year. People who have a known severe allergy to any ingredient in Supemtek® or who have had a severe allergic reaction after receiving a vaccine that contained similar ingredients should not use Supemtek®. Supemtek® will only protect against the strains of influenza virus contained in the vaccine or those that are closely related. Supemtek® will not protect against any other strains of influenza virus. Supemtek® is not indicated for the prevention of hospitalization or death or to reduce the risk of complications after the onset of disease. As with all vaccines, Supemtek® does not protect 100% of people immunized. The most common side effects are local pain and tenderness, fatigue, headache and muscle and joint pain. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist to see if this vaccine is right for you. For more information, visit www.sanofi.ca.