Announcement Regarding the Flu Vaccine for 2016-2017
We would like to provide you with an update regarding anticipated changes to the influenza vaccine for the 2016-2017 season. Due to these changes CMC will need to only offer flu vaccine to patients of the practice, we will not be able to offer flu shots to parents or caregivers as we have in the past. We apologize for the inconvenience, but we want to make sure our supply will cover our most at risk patients. We have received our first batch of private vaccine, but have not received our VFC stock yet, we will be posting flu clinic dates and times to our website soon.
The Center for Disease Control’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) voted that live attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV), also known as the “nasal spray” vaccine or Flumist, should not be used during the 2016-2017 flu season. This vote is based on data showing poor or relatively lower effectiveness of the nasal vaccine over the past three flu seasons. ACIP continues to recommend annual flu vaccination with the flu shot for everyone 6 months and older.
How effective the flu vaccine works (or its ability to prevent flu illness) can vary widely from season to season. This 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. Nasal Flumist contains live, weakened influenza viruses. Vaccines containing live viruses can cause a stronger immune response than vaccines with inactivated virus. While preliminary data previously suggested Flumist was either comparable to or better than the flu shot, the most recent data show a lack of effectiveness compared to the flu shot. The reason for the recent poor performance of Flumist is not known.
Despite these changes, we continue to strongly recommend the flu vaccine for our patients and their families. Additional information can be found on the CDC website: http://www.cdc.gov/flu. Thank you for your understanding and please let us know if you have any further questions.