Perhaps uncoincidentally, it was also the second season in a row after 12 years of widespread use that the live attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV), known as
FluMist, was removed from the market at the advice of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) due to evidence of inferior performance after the 2012-2013 season.
Now, FluMist is available, but the American Academy of Pediatricians (AAP) is recommending that it “…may be used for children who would not otherwise receive an influenza vaccine…,” but that the “…inactivated influenza vaccine [IIV or shot]” is the “primary choice for influenza vaccination in children.”
According to a
commentary written by ACPeds member Dr. Scott Field
, "This concern about lesser efficacy from FluMist, however, is poorly founded for a number of reasons...[and] perhaps there would have been less pediatric morbidity and mortality if LAIV had not been taken from the U.S. market."
Fortunately, this next season is likely to be a light season, but LAIV is also likely to be underutilized due to the official recommendations described above. For more information and research on the effectiveness of FluMist (LAIV) compared to the inactivated influenza vaccine (IIV),
click here to read Dr. Field's full commentary
Nevertheless, the flu vaccine can prevent infections and save the lives of children. So if your child has not been immunized against flu, please consider it as soon as possible.
If you have questions regarding your child's flu vaccine options
, ask your pediatrician. If you don't feel comfortable doing so or your family is in between providers,
please don't hesitate to reach out
. We want to hear from you and answer any concerns or questions you may have about getting your child vaccinated against the flu.
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