Thursday, October 6, 2016

FluMist is no longer recommended

This year, the American Academy of Pediatrics no longer recommends FluMist, a flu vaccine that is administered as a nasal spray. Each year, a CDC committee reviews data to determine the effectiveness of FluMist and the flu shot. Although FluMist has been successful in preventing the flu in the past, for the past three seasons, FluMist has been ineffective. It is currently not known why FluMist has been ineffective during the past few seasons.

The American Academy of Pediatrics continues to recommend flu vaccines for anyone six months and older. As the only needle-free flu vaccine, FluMist is favored by some parents. However, doctors are not concerned about a decline in vaccination rates. So far, these parents have simply had their children vaccinated via the flu shot instead. After all, children can be cajoled into getting the shot and no one likes getting the flu.

Furthermore, Dr. David Henderson, an OhioHealth pediatrician, believes that the 2009 swine flu epidemic, which resulted in many hospitalizations and even some deaths, has encouraged people to receive the flu shot. In addition, the new flu vaccine guidelines affect a relatively small percentage of patients, since the FluMist accounts for just a third of flu vaccines given to children.

Scutti S. Pediatricians update flu vaccine guidelines to remove FluMist. CNN. 2016 Sep 6. 

Other reference:
Grohskopf LA, Sokolow LZ, Broder KR, et al. Prevention and Control of Seasonal Influenza with Vaccines. MMWR Recomm Rep 2016;65(No. RR-5):1–54. DOI:

-Sally Tran

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