Why Nasal Flu Vaccine is Not Recommended for 2016-17 Flu Season
While colder weather is on its way, flu season is just heating up. RediClinic reminds everyone that vaccination is the best way to keep this potentially life-threatening disease at bay. While flu shots are OK, there is one type of flu vaccine that is not recommended this flu season.
The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) is a group of health experts that provide the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) with recommendations on how to use vaccines to control disease in the United States. In early 2016, data became available that demonstrated that FluMist® nasal flu vaccine had performed very poorly during the previous three flu seasons. In addition, research showed that for the past three years, traditional flu shots provided far better protection than FluMist against illness. For this reason, the ACIP voted that the FluMist vaccine should not be used during the current flu season.
FluMist® Nasal Vaccine Only 3% Effective
In 2014, the ACIP had recommended that the nasal spray vaccine be given to healthy children instead of the flu shot because it appeared to be more effective. However, data evaluated by the ACIP from the most recent flu season indicated that in children age two through 17 years, the nasal flu vaccine was only 3% effective against circulating flu viruses. By contrast, the traditional flu shot vaccine was found to be 63% effective against flu viruses in the same age group. The reason the nasal vaccine was ineffective remains unclear.
Annual Flu Shots Recommended for All People Over 6 Months
The CDC continues to recommend an annual flu shot for every American over the age of six months. It’s not clear if the nasal flu vaccine will be available in the future. To get immunized against flu, schedule an online appointment at RediClinic. Walk-ins are also welcome at our clinics. We administer the traditional flu shot to patients age 18 months and older, and the high-dose vaccine to seniors.
Flu season generally runs from October to May, with the peak occurring sometime between December and February. Because it takes a couple of weeks for the flu shot to become fully effective, don’t delay any longer! The Centers for Disease Contr...