FluMist Nasal Vaccine Not Recommended for 2016-2017 Flu Season
First licensed in 2003, the live attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV) nasal spray (sold under the brand name FluMist by MedImmune, a subsidiary of AstraZeneca) was seen as a revolutionary breakthrough. The first of its kind – and still the only nasal spray flu vaccine ever to receive approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) – FluMist became a popular choice for vaccinating children in particular due to its avoidance of the risks associated with vaccine injections. In recent flu seasons, as many as one third of all children who received flu vaccinations received FluMist.
Now, however, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recommended that FluMist not be approved for the 2016-2017 flu season.
Why Isn’t the ACIP Recommending FluMist?
The reason why ACIP is advising against the use of FluMist this flu season is simple: It hasn’t proven to be effective. During the 2015-2016 flu season, among children aged two to seventeen, data showed that the vaccine had a rate of effectiveness of just three percent. According to the CDC, “[t]his 3 percent estimate means no protective benefit could be measured.” Effectiveness ratings from the two prior flu seasons were additionally, “poor and/or lower than expected.”
By contrast, the inactive influenza vaccine (IIV) flu shot had a vaccine effectiveness rate of 63 percent during the 2015-2016 flu season, and the overall effectiveness rating for all flu shots currently stands at 49 percent.
When originally introduced, research finding suggested that FluMist would be comparable to, if not better than, the IIV flu shot in terms of overall effectiveness. Reason for the LAIV nasal spray’s recent ineffectiveness remain unknown.
It is important to note that the ACIP’s recommendation is not binding. The director of the CDC publishes the agency’s final approvals in late summer or early fall. Nonetheless, parents should certainly take FluMist’s recent lack of effectiveness into consideration when getting their children vaccinated against the flu.
Injury Risks Associated with Annual Flu Shots
While the CDC notes that obtaining the flu shot is safer than risking an illness, there are certain risks associated with receiving vaccinations via needle injection. One of these risks falls within a class of injuries known as shoulder injury related to vaccine administration (or “SIRVA”). Instances of SIRVA have been on the rise in recent years, and many individuals who suffer a rotator cuff injury, shoulder bursitis or another form of SIRVA can experience severe pain and other symptoms that may require extensive treatment or even surgery.
Learn more about the symptoms and effects of SIRVA.
Have You or Your Child Experienced Pain After a Flu Shot?
If you or your loved one has experienced shoulder pain after receiving a vaccination, you may be entitled to seek compensation under the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP). The VICP allows individuals who have suffered vaccine-related injuries to recover money for their medical bills and other losses without the need to file a traditional lawsuit against the vaccine administrator or vaccine manufacturer. Contact the Law Offices of Leah V. Durant, PLLC to learn whether a claim for compensation may be appropriate for you, by calling: (202) 800-1711 or contact us online to request a free consultation today.
Leah Durant Bio
Leah Durant is an experienced litigator whose practice focuses on representing clients in complex vaccine litigation matters. Leah Durant is the owner and principal attorney of the Law Offices of Leah V. Durant, PLLC, a vaccine litigation firm located in Washington, DC. The Law Offices of Leah V. Durant, PLLC represents clients who suffer from vaccine-related injuries, adverse vaccine reactions and vaccine-related deaths. The Law Offices of Leah V. Durant, PLLC is dedicated to helping individuals in recover the highest level of compensation as quickly and efficiently as possible. To learn more, contact vaccine attorney Leah Durant today.