August 2018 Pharmacy Update

FluMist is Back for 2018-19 Flu Season

As you may be aware, the CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) has recommended to bring back the FluMist Quadrivalent (intranasal live attenuated influenza vaccine) for the 2018-19 flu season.

Key Points for Providers

  1. FluMist was not recommended during the last 2 flu seasons due to lower-than-expected efficacy
  2. ACIP members voted 12-2 to include FluMist for this season mainly due to the following reasons:
    • Benefits > Risks
    • Having FluMist as an option may help boost vaccination rates
  3. The previous 2009 H1N1 vaccine component has been changed to a different type (A/Slovenia)
    • NB: there is no vaccine efficacy data on this new formulation yet

Key Points for PATIENTS:

  1. Continue emphasizing that annual vaccination is the single best way to prevent influenza
    • Flu-related deaths in children were at a “record high” last year—mostly in those who weren’t vaccinated
  2. FluMist is an option for healthy patients ages 2 to 49
    • Avoid in pregnancy or in patients with asthma, immunosuppression, previous allergy, etc.
  3. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends using FluMist as a “last resort” for children who would not otherwise be vaccinated, as injectable flu vaccines have a more consistent track record for efficacy
    • AAP continues to advise families to choose the inactivated influenza vaccine (IIV) when possible

For more information and references:

  5. (package insert)