It was too good to be true.
You’ll have to roll up your sleeve and grimace next flu season.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) has voted the live attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV), the flu vaccine administered by nasal spray, should not be used for the 2016-2017 flu season.
The ACIP, a panel of immunization experts, voted against the spray based on 2013-2016 data from the U.S. Influenza Vaccine Effectiveness Network citing poor or relatively lower effectiveness and is supported by similar studies.
LAIV contains a live and weakened influenza virus and is sold as FluMist Quadrivalent. It is the only-non-injection-based flu vaccine on the market and is produced by the AstraZeneca subsidiary MedImmune.
Data published before and shortly after the FluMist Quadrivalent was licensed in 2003 suggested it would be comparable, if not better, than an inactivated influenza vaccine. It’s unclear why the spray has been less effective.
The ACIP still recommends an annual flu vaccination for everyone 6 months and older by either the in inactivated influenza vaccine (IIV) or recombinant influenza vaccine (RIV).
The committee’s vote must be reviewed and approved by CDC’s director first but could affect providers who have already placed vaccine orders. Makers of LAIV projected doses of the nasal spray flu vaccine accounted for about 8 percent of the total projected 2016-2017 season supply. A final recommendation on the prevention and control of influenza with vaccines will be published in the CDC’s annual Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), Recommendations and Reports later this year.