A United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) vaccine advisory committee voted to approve FluMist, the nasal spray influenza vaccine, for the 2018-2019 flu season. This marks the first time the nasal spray will return after a two season hiatus in which concerns were raised about its effectiveness, particularly against the H1N1 strand.
During this time period, AstraZeneca, the company that manufactures FluMist, has been trying to identify reasons for the reduced effectiveness and has indicated it might be due to reduced fitness of the H1N1 component included in the vaccine. In response to those concerns, AstraZeneca switched the previous H1N1 component of the vaccine with a different H1N1 type. The company then presented findings from a US study to the CDC that the company contends show results indicating that the new H1N1 component provide more effective results for recipients.
Despite these representations, many remain skeptical as to the overall efficacy of the nasal spray version of the vaccine. For example, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has recommended that children receive the injectable form of the vaccine and only receive the nasal spray as a last resort.
It appears that the impetus for the renewed discussions on the availability of FluMist stem in part from the competing concerns involving the severity of last flu season and the alternative needle-free option that the FluMist vaccine provides to those who are averse to needles. In the past, this option was particularly attractive to children and to school based influenza immunization programs.
If you or someone you know sustained an injury or started experiencing symptoms after receiving an influenza vaccine, please contact our Vaccine Injury Attorneys as you may be entitled to compensation under the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (NVICP). Our firm is experienced in litigating vaccine injury claims on behalf of those suffering these types of injuries.