Novartis Vaccines & Diagnostics, Inc. Partners With RediClinic

AUSTIN, Texas, Nov. 13 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- 'Tis the season to share love, memories and gifts - not influenza. A trip to the mall can help holiday shoppers cross off more than just gifts from their lists at Barton Creek Square. Novartis Vaccines, in partnership with RediClinic announced today that it will offer shoppers a convenient opportunity to receive an influenza vaccination to help protect themselves, their loved ones and their community during this year's influenza season.

The influenza vaccination clinics will be conducted every Friday, Saturday and Sunday at Barton Creek Square beginning the Friday after Thanksgiving (November 23), traditionally the kick-off to holiday shopping season and one of the busiest retail shopping days of the year. The influenza vaccination clinics will continue through December 23, 2007 to help bring convenient and accessible influenza vaccination directly to Austin residents. Cash and checks will be accepted. Insurance will not be accepted, however receipts will be distributed that can be submitted to your insurance company to request reimbursement. RediClinic healthcare professionals who are trained to provide influenza vaccinations will administer the vaccinations.

"RediClinic recognizes the efforts of Novartis Vaccines to help protect our community from influenza by providing a central, convenient influenza vaccination clinic at Barton Creek Square during the holiday season," said George Walker, Executive Vice President, RediClinic Services. "We would like to remind our residents that an annual influenza vaccination helps to prevent influenza from spreading throughout the community. In essence, your decision to get vaccinated or not goes well beyond you - it also affects the many lives you touch."

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), though the influenza season varies from year to year, it can last as late as May. In Austin, last year the influenza season peaked between late January and mid March. This is why receiving a vaccination in December, or even later, can still be beneficial.

Influenza is a contagious disease that can lead to serious complications, hospitalization or even death. For those who have not already been vaccinated, getting an influenza vaccination now is especially important, because, during the holiday season, people gather with their loved ones. Most healthy adults can spread the influenza virus beginning one day before they feel sick and usually continue to be contagious for about five days after, which means the virus can spread to close contacts, such as loved ones and co-workers. In fact, each year more than 200,000 people in the United States (US) are hospitalized and an average of about 36,000 die from influenza and its complications. It is important for Austin residents to get vaccinated, especially as influenza remains a risk well beyond the holiday shopping season.

In an effort to help protect Austin residents and their loved ones against influenza, RediClinic is encouraging residents who have not yet been vaccinated for the 2007-2008 influenza season to visit Barton Creek Square this holiday shopping season to receive a vaccination. Residents who are nine years and older can be vaccinated at this particular clinic.

Influenza vaccination may not prevent the disease in 100 percent of individuals.

"By offering on-site influenza vaccination clinics at Simon Malls, we are providing an easily accessible way for our shoppers to help protect themselves during the peak influenza season," said Monica Garcia, Assistant Manager Mall Marketing for Barton Creek Square. "We are pleased to team with Novartis Vaccines and RediClinic to present this added convenience to our patrons during the busy holiday season."

About the Barton Creek Square Influenza Vaccination Clinic

The Barton Creek Square influenza vaccination clinic, sponsored by Novartis Vaccines, in partnership with RediClinic, is designed to help support the CDC's efforts to extend the vaccination season, and to increase vaccination rates to reduce illness and deaths from influenza and its complications.

Influenza vaccine is a regulated product; its availability may be restricted or curtailed. The local influenza vaccination clinic will comply with all national, state, and local health regulations.

To find additional influenza vaccination clinics if you are unable to attend the clinic at Barton Creek Square, or for more information about how to help prevent influenza, consumers may visit www.FluSource.com.

About Influenza

Influenza is a contagious disease of the respiratory tract (nose, throat, and lungs) that can lead to serious complications, such as pneumonia and dehydration, and worsening of chronic medical conditions, such as congestive heart failure, asthma, or diabetes.

Many people confuse influenza with the common cold, but, in fact, influenza can be a much more serious illness. An average of about 36,000 US residents die each year from influenza and its complications, which is more than double the 17,000 Americans who die annually from AIDS, similar to the 42,000 Americans who die each year from breast cancer, and half the 73,000 Americans who die annually of diabetes and its complications.

Influenza vaccination is recommended for people, including school-age children, who want to reduce the likelihood of becoming ill with influenza or transmitting influenza to others should they become infected. Vaccination is also recommended for people who are at high risk for complications of influenza, including people over 50 years old, children 6-59 months old and people with certain chronic illnesses.

Getting vaccinated against influenza helps protect those around you including those who may be at higher risk for complications. The elderly and young children are just two of the groups considered to be at increased risk for complications from influenza, but influenza vaccination may benefit anyone over the age of six months - even healthy adults (influenza vaccines are not currently approved for children under six months of age). Influenza vaccination may not prevent the disease in 100 percent of individuals.

For more information about preventing influenza, visit www.FluSource.com.

Disclaimer

The foregoing release contains forward-looking statements that can be identified by terminology such as "can" or "will" or similar expressions or by express or implied discussions regarding the location, number and dates of the influenza vaccination clinics, the number of persons electing to be vaccinated at the clinics, the duration of the influenza season and the effectiveness of vaccinations, especially those administered later in the influenza season. Such forward-looking statements reflect the current views of the company regarding future events, and involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors. There can be no guarantee that the influenza vaccination clinics will be held, that a certain number of clinics will be held, that clinics will be held on certain dates or at certain locations or that persons will elect to be vaccinated at the clinics. In addition, there can be no guarantee that administered vaccinations will be effective. In particular, management's expectations could be affected by, among other things, the pervasiveness of influenza and its spread during the influenza season; general economic factors as well as the weather, and the effect of such factors on the number of shoppers who visit the malls at which the clinics will be held; unexpected regulatory actions or delays or government regulation generally; unexpected delays or inefficiencies in influenza vaccine production or distribution; competition in general; and other risks and factors referred to in Novartis AG's current Form 20-F on file with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. Should one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or should underlying assumptions prove incorrect, actual results may vary materially from those anticipated, believed, estimated or expected. Novartis Vaccines is providing the information in this press release as of this date and does not undertake any obligation to update any forward-looking statements contained in this press release as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

About Novartis

Novartis AG is a world leader in offering medicines to protect health, cure disease and improve well-being. Our goal is to discover, develop and successfully market innovative products to treat patients, ease suffering and enhance the quality of life. We are strengthening our medicine-based portfolio, which is focused on strategic growth platforms in innovation-driven pharmaceuticals, high-quality and low-cost generics, human vaccines and leading self-medication OTC brands. Novartis is the only company with leadership positions in these areas. In 2006, the Group's businesses achieved net sales of USD 37.0 billion and net income of USD 7.2 billion. Approximately USD 5.4 billion was invested in R&D. Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Novartis Group companies employ approximately 100,000 associates and operate in over 140 countries around the world. For more information, please visit http://www.novartis.com.

Media Materials

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beth.birke@novartis.commedia.relations@novartis.com or nvd.communications@novartis.com

CONTACT: Beth Birke, Global Communications, of Novartis Vaccines and
Diagnostics, +1-617-871-4281 or beth.birke@novartis.com

Web site: http://www.novartis.com/
http://www.FluSource.com/
http://www.thenewsmarket.com/novartisvaccines/

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