ACIP recommends LAIV should NOT be used during the 2016-2017 flu season

At the June 22nd meeting, the ACIP made an interim recommendation that LAIV4 should NOT be used for the 2016-2017 flu season. This recommendation is based on the available data about poor LAIV vaccine effectiveness from several studies over the past few seasons. The ACIP continues to recommend annual flu vaccination, with either the inactivated influenza vaccine (IIV) or recombinant influenza vaccine (RIV), for everyone 6 months and older. For additional information, please see CDC’s press release

This change in the ACIP guidance for LAIV reflects use of the latest vaccine effectiveness data to update immunization recommendations. CDC and the FDA will continue to review pertinent information as it becomes available.

AstraZenenca, the manufacturer of FluMist, is requesting providers who privately purchased LAIV4 reach out to their FluMist Quadrivalent distributor to make any order modifications they feel are necessary.

State-supplied flu vaccine:  For providers who receive state-supplied influenza vaccine, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) has been working with CDC as well as vaccine manufacturers and distributors to procure doses of other inactive influenza vaccines to replace the doses of FluMist that were originally planned to be purchased.  Although we do not know the exact quantity and formulation of vaccine, all of the state-supplied FluMist doses will be replaced with another influenza vaccine.  More information will be forthcoming when we do get the formulations and quantities confirmed.

Privately-purchased flu vaccine:

The Influenza Vaccine Availability Tracking System is online for providers wishing to order additional doses and see the report of manufacturers and distributors that have influenza vaccine. There is also an updated list of flu vaccine products for the 2016-17 season.

Additional Resources:

  • The National Foundation for Infectious Diseases conducted a webinar in July 2016 to discuss the June ACIP recommendations. The webinar details why ACIP decided not to recommend LAIV (FluMist) for the 2016-2017 season, including an overview of the vaccine effectiveness studies and potential hypotheses about the reduced effectiveness. View the webinar.
  • The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s Vaccine Education Center wrote an article entitled “Nasal Influenza Vaccine – What You Should Know” with key points about the ACIP decision and communication strategies for how to talk about the decision with your patients.

For questions about vaccine availability and ordering, please contact the Vaccine Management Unit at 617-983-6828.  For questions about vaccine recommendations, please call the Immunization Program at 617-983-6800 and ask to speak to an immunization epidemiologist or nurse.