For the previous two flu seasons, the CDC has recommended against FluMist use due to efficacy problems, deeply hurting sales for the needle-free flu vaccine option. As the problem persisted last June, experts once again recommended against the vaccine.
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"In the past, the vaccine didn't perform as it had promised to avoid influenza".
"For the 2018-19 season, immunization providers may choose to administer any licensed, age-appropriate, influenza vaccine (including LAIV, IIV and RIV)".
All eyes are now on the reformulated FluMist's effectiveness, as experts have anxious that poor effectiveness will turn people off flu vaccines.
The needle-free FluMist influenza vaccine is coming back to the USA after two years off the market, promising a less painful way for people to inoculate themselves against the infectious disease.
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Flumist Quadrivalent remains available in limited quantities for the current season and, pending strain approval by the Food and Drug Administration, it will be available for the 2018-2019 influenza season.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported last week this year's vaccine was 36 percent effective. But committee panel members noted there's still not good proof that FluMist works well against the swine flu bug. Though the viruses in FluMist are live, they have been weakened (attenuated, in medical terms) and work by stimulating the immune system.
It's been off the market for two years because of its poor performance compared to the traditional flu shot. A review of data from 2013 through 2016 showed that the vaccine offered children nearly no protection against flu; in the 2015-2016 season LAIV protection rate was only 3%.
An official from AstraZeneca, the company that makes FluMist, told the Associated Press that the problem with the vaccine has been identified and corrected.
Currently, the United States is going through a particularly tough flu season, with severe cases at epidemic levels and hospitals clogged with patients battling the illness.