We have been hearing about swine flu vaccines since the outbreak of swine flu in April 2009. The kind of vaccine that is coming to market is the one that can be squirted in your nose. I read about Nasal spray seasonal flu vaccine LAIV (Live Attenuated Influenza Vaccine) which is a first swine flu vaccine and known as FluMist. FluMist is expected to come in the market with in week or two. First shipment of 600,000 doses of the nasal spray FluMist will be divided among 21 states and four large cities in the United States. Researching about the swine flu vaccines, I summarized Center for Disease Control (CDC) guidance for use of swine flu vaccine and prioritized it based on population that is at higher risk. Let us look at some information on FluMist and the reactions from different states as to their plans of using the vaccine.
FluMist, nasal spray vaccine is marketed by MedImmune, LLC. MedImmune, LLC is based in Gaithersburg, Maryland. FluMist is for intranasal administration only and is approved for certain types of influenza disease in children, adolescents and adults 2-49 years of age.
How effective is the nasal-spray seasonal flu vaccine LAIV (FluMist)?
According to Center for Disease Control, the seasonal nasal-spray flu vaccine LAIV (FluMist) reduced the chance of influenza illness by 92% in children aged 15-85 months compared with placebo. The study also found 19% fewer severe febrile respiratory tract illnesses, 24% fewer respiratory tract illnesses with fever in adults.
Can FluMist be given to anybody?
LAIV (FluMist) is approved for use in healthy* people 2-49 years of age who are not pregnant. However FluMist is not right for everyone as per MedImmune. You should not take FluMist if you have a history of hypersensitivity to eggs, egg proteins, gentamicin, gelatin, or arginine; people with life-threatening reactions to previous influenza vaccinations; and children and adolescents receiving aspirin...
or aspirin-containing therapy.
Most common side effects included runny nose or nasal congestion, sore throat, and fever. For a full list of side effects, please refer to the product information provided by MedImmune. I would recommend that you read through the CDC website that provides excellent information on the nasal spray FluMist. Most of the states are working through the logistics and aiming to use first small batches for their healthcare workers. Below is the infomation how to administer FluMist:
I was intrigued by reading the statements from different states and therefore, I would like to share it with you:
- In Chicago, firefighters will share first doses with hospitals, to get some emergency responders protected.
- Alaska, which is getting 4,000 as its first FluMist doses, wants to head directly to preschoolers, ages 2 to 4.
- Pennsylvania is looking at its initial 58,000 FluMist doses mostly to 5- to 9-year-olds in parts of the state where H1N1 is most active.
I hope that the long wait for the flu vaccine will be over soon. Though the quantity is not sufficient to provide therapeutic aid to all but this initial step will prove to be a greatest help for humankind. Flu shot for H1N1 is expected to be a week behind the nasal spray.