Published: Fri, February 23, 2018
Medical | By

U.S. panel says it's OK to use nasal spray flu vaccine again

U.S. panel says it's OK to use nasal spray flu vaccine again

Along with FluMist, immunization providers may choose to give their patients one of two types of flu shots: either the inactivated influenza vaccine (known as IIV) or the recombinant influenza vaccine (RIV), CDC spokeswoman Kristen Nordlund said.

The panel had said in 2016, after reviewing three years of data, that the mist didn't work.

The advisory committee that decides which vaccines are available agreed. It can be used in children, adolescents, and adults ages 2 through 49 years.

There are several different formulations of influenza vaccine.

The state has been sponsoring a number of a free and low-priced flu shot clinics in an attempt to better immunize people from the virus.

Though the ACIP isn't technically a regulatory body, in practice, it essentially is: Vaccines without the committee's stamp of approval are hardly sold anywhere. "LAIV4 is an option for influenza vaccination for persons for whom it is otherwise appropriate", the new recommendation reads.

The vaccine remains on the recommended list in Canada and the European Union.

FluMist quadrivalent will be available in the United States for the 2018-19 influenza season, pending annual strain approval from the FDA, the company noted in its statement.

All eyes are now on the reformulated FluMist's effectiveness, as experts have anxious that poor effectiveness will turn people off flu vaccines. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that everyone over the age of 6 months get a flu vaccine every year, but fewer than half of all Americans do. But committee panel members noted there's still not good proof that FluMist works well against the swine flu bug.

Beginning with the 2016-17 season, then, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices chose to not recommend the spray because of its poor performance compared with the flu shot, and that decision was repeated for this season. "The newer version is supposed to be improved; it is yet to be determined if that will be the case", said Dr. Michele Belding.

According to an NBC News report, some ACIP members are anxious that an ineffective FluMist will hurt public perceptions, but others argue that the lack of a needle-free option turns kids off getting vaccinated.

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