A recent update from the CDC and the Advisory Committee for Immunization Practices states the Flumist should not be used for this upcoming flu season 2016-2017. The Flumist is the nasal spray – it’s the nasal vaccine that was given and recommended to younger children. This is a live attenuated vaccine.
They’re saying the Flumist has been ineffective for the last three years and it states specifically that in the last year, this last flu season, it was only three percent effective in preventing influenza. This is compared to the sixty-three percent effectiveness that we have for the inactivated influenza vaccine.
That’s a big difference – three percent compared to sixty-three percent. The CDC also states that from 2013, up until last flu season, it’s been performing lower or less than expected. Now, when it first came out in 2012, it was said to be as good and it was supposed to have the same efficacy (at least) as the inactivated influenza vaccine.
But, after that first flu season, we’ve noticed that its effectiveness has been waning. We have to take this with a grain of salt because every flu season is different. But, for this upcoming flu season the CDC is recommending against vaccination with Flumist.
There’s been some controversy as to whether we should vaccinate in certain special situations. For example, if the parents refused an injectable vaccine or in special circumstances where we don’t have the inactivated influenza vaccine available. But, the American Academy of Pediatrics is saying no – regardless of the situation. The CDC is also saying no.
The American Academy of Family Practice Physicians, however, is actually saying yes, there might be special situations where we can use this vaccine. But, the CDC is recommending against using it whatsoever – because at three percent efficacy – is there any point? Is it really going to prevent any type of clinically relevant disease?
Remember, they’re still recommending that all children, 6 months and above, be vaccinated every single year. They are not taking away this recommendation.
This is the new update from the CDC and also from the advisory committee of immunization practices for the 2016 – 2017 influenza season.