CDC Advisory: No Live Flu Vac

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The Center for Disease Control’s Advisory Committee has said the Live Attentuated influenza vaccine, (LAIV) FluMist, that is licensed for use in people ages 2-49 years old should not be used during the 2016-17 flu season.  “Their decision was based on data showing that the effectiveness of LAIV from 2013 through 2016 was poor and/or lower than expected, according to a CDC media statement.(www.cdc.gov).”

“In late May, the U.S. Influenza Vaccine Effectiveness Network released preliminary study data on the effectiveness of LAIV in children ages 2-17 during the 2015-16 influenza season that showed the estimated vaccine effectiveness (VE) against any flu virus was 3 percent (with a 95 percent confidence interval [CI] of -49 percent to 37 percent).

“This 3 percent estimate means no protective benefit could be measured,” said the media statement…

“The agency said other non-CDC studies also supported this conclusion that LAIV was far less effective than IIV (inactivated influenza vaccine) this past flu season. The ACIP followed up its overall recommendation against use of LAIV with a vote to specifically recommend that the Vaccines for Children program also should not provide LAIV this upcoming flu season.

“AAFP liaison to the ACIP Margot Savoy, M.D., M.P.H., of Wilmington, Deleware, ‘From an evidence-based medicine perspective,’ Savoy said this decision is clearly the right thing to do…In fact, Savoy said, ACIP members discussed the fact that even with needle-phobic, vaccine-hesitant patients, LAIV still could not — in good conscience — be recommended.”  Source: American Academy of Family Physicians.

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