By Jessica Mondani, DO, MPH
The CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices has made new recommendations for this year’s seasonal influenza vaccine. The ACIP has made a statement indicating that the live attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV) or nasal spray flu vaccine should not be given during the 2016-2017 flu season. This decision was based on vaccine effectiveness studies from 2013-2016 showing that there was a poor or relatively lower effectiveness of the LAIV. The data from the most recent season for children 2-17 years showed the estimate for LAIV vaccine effectiveness to be three percent compared with the injected inactivated influenza vaccine (IIV) with an estimated vaccine effectiveness of 63 percent.
Many factors can affect vaccine effectiveness, but the reason for this recent poor performance is currently unknown. Initial studies on the LAIV in 2003 showed that it was comparable to or better than the IIV. The poor response to LAIV could have a major public health impact in the upcoming flu season. Until we better understand the cause of the low vaccine effectiveness rate, it would be beneficial to recommend the injectable vaccine to our patients for better influenza protection.
The AAP has already endorsed the ACIP’s recommendations. The CDC will review the ACIP recommendations and will make formal final 2016-2017 influenza season recommendations in late summer or early fall.
September 16-19, 2016
Anaheim Convention Center