2016-2017 Flu Clinic Information
Annual Flu Vaccine
July 6th, 2016 Flu Vaccine News: At the recent 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.
ACIP Meeting June 22, 2016
Influenza Session: Key Points
Update: 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. 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. The ACIP vote follows data showing poor or relatively lower effectiveness of LAIV from 2013 through 2016.
Summary Key Points:
- Influenza causes substantial illness and death every year.
- Flu vaccines are the first and best way to prevent influenza.
- While how well flu vaccines work can vary from year to year, there are years of data showing that people who get vaccinated are, overall, better off than people who do not get vaccinated.
- Flu vaccines prevent flu illnesses, doctor’s visits and hospitalizations.
- CDC presented data showing vaccine effectiveness for nasal spray vaccine among children 2 years through 17 years during 2015-2016 was 3 percent (with a 95 percent Confidence Interval (CI) of -49 percent to 37 percent). This estimate means no protective benefit could be measured.
- In comparison, flu shots IIV had a vaccine effectiveness estimate of 63 percent against any flu virus among children 2 years through 17 years with a 95 percent CI of 52 percent to 72 percent. (This estimate indicates flu shots provided measurable protection.)
- The disappointing LAIV VE data from 2015-2016 follows two previous seasons (2013-2014 and 2014-2015) showing poor and/or lower than expected vaccine effectiveness (VE) for LAIV.
Get vaccinated before the flu season starts. The Center for Disease Control recommends that everyone 6 months of age and up get a yearly flu vaccine. At this time, there is very little influenza activity. Flu season typically starts in October and can last through May.
Vaccination of high risk persons is especially important to decrease their risk of severe flu illness.
People at high risk of serious flu complications include young children, pregnant women, people with chronic health conditions like asthma, diabetes or heart and lung disease and people 65 years and older.
Vaccination also is important for health care workers, and other people who live with or care for high risk people to keep from spreading flu to high risk people.
Children younger than 6 months are at high risk of serious flu illness, but are too young to be vaccinated. People who care for them should be vaccinated instead.
Information on Influenza
- General Flu Information from the U.S. FDA
- Flu info from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention
Thimerosal & Influenza
- See the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's website for information about thimerosal and vaccine safety
- There is no convincing scientific evidence of harm caused by the minute doses of thimerosal in vaccines except for minor effects like swelling and redness at the injection site due to sensitivity to thimerosal.
- Most importantly, since 1999, newly formulated thimerosal-free vaccines have been licensed. With the newly formulated vaccines, the maximum cumulative exposure during the first 6 months of life will now be less than 3 micrograms of mercury. No children are receiving toxic levels of mercury from vaccines.
- Thimerosal is a mercury-based preservative that has been used for decades in the United States in multi-dose vials (vials containing more than 1 dose) of some vaccines to prevent the growth of microorganisms, such as bacteria and fungi, which may contaminate them.
- In vaccines, preservatives are used to prevent the growth of bacteria and fungi in the event that they get into the vaccine. This may occur when a syringe needle enters a vial as a vaccine is being prepared for administration. Contamination by germs in a vaccine could cause serious illness or death. In some vaccines, preservatives are added during the manufacturing process to prevent microbial growth.
- Influenza vaccine is manufactured in both multi-dose vials and in single dose units. Multi-dose vials contain thimerosal as a preservative to prevent potential contamination after the vial is opened.
- Single-dose units do not require the use of thimerosal as a preservative. In addition, the live-attenuated version of the vaccine, which is administered intranasally (through the nose), is produced in single-units and does not contain thimerosal.