Study finds FluMist may be less effective than tradition flu vaccine

January 7, 2019 (Precision Vaccinations)

In the U.S, two methods are available when it comes down to selecting a way to be vaccinated against influenza: the tradition influenza vaccine or a nasal spray vaccine.

A new study, which now appears in the journal, Pediatrics, has found that vaccination via nasal spray offered less effectiveness against certain strains of influenza.

During their study, researchers discovered that the inactivated flu vaccine was 51 percent effective against any type of influenza virus. For the nasal spray vaccine, though, effectiveness was just 26 percent.

This news is especially important now, given that the CDC has reported 16 pediatric deaths caused by the flu so far this season.

Features of this study:

This new study contained data from 5 studies that have already been published about effectiveness of flu vaccines. A total of 17,173 children from the ages of 2 to 17 and from 42 out of 50 states were included in this study.

Limitations of this study include that its information was based solely on data from those 5 previously published studies. Researchers involved in this study believe that more research is needed to determine whether similar findings to the ones discovered in this recent study would also come forth in the data from previous flu seasons.

For the current flu season (2018-2019), the CDC and the ACIP recommend providers use any of the following vaccines:

  • Inactivated influenza vaccines (IIV),
  • Recombinant influenza vaccine (RIV), or
  • Live attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV4).

In addition, for the 2018-2019 flu season, all nasal sprays offered will contain the following 4 flu viruses:

  • an influenza A (H1N1) virus,
  • an influenza A (H3N2) virus, and,
  • two influenza B viruses.

For more information about this study and the nasal spray vaccine, click here.