FluMist returns: CDC greenlights nasal spray vaccine for next flu season


After the first dose of FluMist Quadrivalent, 23% of children vaccinated with the 2017-2018 H1N1 LAIV strain developed a fourfold antibody rise, compared to 5% with the 2015-2016 H1N1 LAIV strain.

Just Thursday, CDC officials pinpointed one reason why this flu season has been so brutal: the flu vaccine is only 25 percent effective against H3N2 influenza, which is causing most flu cases this year.

"For the 2018-19 season, immunization providers may choose to administer any licensed, age-appropriate, influenza vaccine (including LAIV, IIV and RIV)". But the company that makes FluMist said on Wednesday that it's reformulated the vaccine, has tested it in 200 kids, and suggests it works better now.

"We are pleased that the ACIP has voted in support of a renewed recommendation for Flumist", Gregory Keenan, AstraZeneca's vice president for USA medical affairs, said in a press release.

The vaccine remains on the recommended list in Canada and the European Union. 10th, a total of 43 states continued to experience widespread flu activity, down from 48 the week before, according to the latest surveillance report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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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.

The nasal spray version of the flu vaccine popular with children but largely unavailable this season due to questions about its effectiveness is likely to return next fall.

(ACIP) declined to recommend FluMist in 2016 and again for this season, citing studies that showed it only reduced the risk of getting influenza by 3 percent over the past three flu seasons.

But on Wednesday, the panel voted 12-2 to recommend FluMist as an option for the next flu season.

AstraZeneca says it will supply FluMist to the US market next season.