“Nasal spray” flu vaccine NOT recommended during 2016-2017 flu season

On Wednesday, June 22, 2016, CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) voted in favor of an interim recommendation that live attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV), also known as the “nasal spray” flu vaccine, should not be used during the 2016-2017 flu season. The ACIP vote follows data showing poor or relatively lower effectiveness of LAIV from 2013 through 2016.

The change in the ACIP recommendation is an example of using new available data to ensure public health actions are most beneficial. 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.

Influenza is a serious disease that causes millions of illnesses, hundreds of thousands of hospitalizations, and thousands or tens of thousands of deaths each year. While the protection offered by flu vaccines can vary, the flu shot’s overall vaccine effectiveness estimate of 49 percent suggests that millions of people were protected against flu last season.

Flu vaccination can reduce flu illnesses, doctors’ visits, and missed work and school due to flu illness, as well as prevent flu-related hospitalizations. 

CDC conducts vaccine effectiveness studies each season to estimate flu vaccine effectiveness. How well the flu vaccine works (or its ability to prevent flu illness) can range widely from season to season and can be affected by a number of factors, including characteristics of the person being vaccinated, the similarity between vaccine viruses and circulating viruses, and even which vaccine is used. Read more of the CDC’s Media Statement.

Why Flu Vaccination Matters – Personal Flu Stories

What is Influenza (also called Flu)?

The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that infect the nose, throat and lungs. It can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death. The best way to prevent the flu is by getting a flu vaccine each year.

Preventing Flu

  • Get a flu vaccination each year.
  • Wash your hands frequently.
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes.
  • Stay away from people who are sick.
  • Stay home if you are sick.
  • Avoid touching your nose, mouth and eyes.
  • Keep frequently touched common surfaces clean.
  • Maintain a healthy lifestyle.

How Flu Spreads

Flu viruses are spread mainly from person to person through coughing or sneezing of people with influenza. Sometimes people may become infected by touching something with flu viruses on it and then touching their mouth or nose.

Signs and Symptoms of Flu

  • Fever* or feeling feverish/chills
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue (very tired)
  • Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults.

*It’s important to note that not everyone with flu will have a fever.

Complications of Flu

Complications of flu can include bacterial pneumonia, ear infections, sinus infections, dehydration, and worsening of chronic medical conditions, such as congestive heart failure, asthma, or diabetes.

For more information about flu, visit www.miOttawa.org/flu or www.cdc.gov/flu.

To prevent diseases and their spread, find out what other vaccines  you may need at www.miOttawa.org/immunize or call (616)396-5266.

Traveling? Contact us to find out which vaccines you may need  and other trip specific information. www.miOttawa.org/travel

Find vaccines near you http://flushot.healthmap.org

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