CDC Calls Nasal Spray Flu Vaccine Ineffective: What It Means for Our Families

In a surprising move this week, the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) voted that live attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV), also known as the “nasal spray” flu vaccine, should not be used during the 2016-2017 flu season. The reason given is the lack of effectiveness in the 2 – 17 year age group.

For area physicians, this means that they will not be able to provide the FluMist® nasal vaccine to patients in the upcoming flu season. “We really didn’t know this was coming honestly, and all of us have already put our orders in for the flu season,” said Dr. Alison Ziari, Pediatrician at ARC Wilson Parke, recently in an interview with KXAN News. “So we have to change what kind of vaccine we’re providing for patients this fall.”

While Dr. Ziari understands the flu shot isn’t as popular among children, she still highly recommends they get it. “Getting the flu virus is really pretty bad, especially if there are high risk members in the family,” said Dr. Ziari. “People that have asthma, or heart disease, diabetes — other medical problems that put them at risk – it’s really important for them to be vaccinated. Young children are particularly at risk.”

In response the decision, ARC has ordered additional flu vaccine and we anticipate having a sufficient supply for all of our patients who choose to get the shot. 

ACIP, ARC, and the American Academy of Pediatrics continue to recommend annual flu vaccination for everyone 6 months and older. Vaccination remains the most effective prevention against the flu.

Tags: FluMist, flu vaccine, flu, CDC

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