Published: Fri, February 23, 2018
Health | By Jay Jacobs

Nasal flu vaccine, FluMist, approved for next flu season

Nasal flu vaccine, FluMist, approved for next flu season

Two years ago, the advisory group pulled its recommendation for FluMist vaccine after research found it wasn't working against the flu bug making most people sick.

A CDC advisory committee voted Wednesday to once again recommend FluMist, the only nasal flu vaccine approved in the USA, for the 2018-19 flu season - effectively ending a two-year suspension of the non-injected vaccine, according to STAT.

The vaccine will still be subject to annual strain approval by the FDA for next season.

National experts are calling this flu season one of the worst in the last decade with confirmed cases and hospitalizations reaching pandemic proportions. The data also demonstrate that the new 2017-2018 H1N1 LAIV strain resulted in increased vaccine virus replication in vaccinated children. Among children aged 6 months through 8 years old, however, the vaccine's effectiveness is 59 percent, the agency reported.

About 84 children in the United States have died from the flu as of February 10, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The company that makes it, MedImmune, says it has reformulated the vaccine and thinks it will work better next year.

In 2016, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's advisory committee on vaccines reported that FluMist was ineffective and advised against its use. It can be used in children, adolescents, and adults ages 2 through 49 years. The vaccine has remained recommended for use and available in Canada and the European Union. "We can't predict when this will occur", the CDC's Dr. Lisa Grohskopf told the committee, which approved recommending the vaccine 12-2.

Flu season tends to taper off in April, but could last as long as May.

FluMist is a little different from other vaccines because not only is it spritzed up the nose, but it uses "live" flu virus.

Like this: