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CDC: Offer LAIV4 Vaccine for 2018-2019 Flu Season

August 27, 2018

The CDC has announced its recommendation of the live attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV4, FluMist Quadrivalent) as an available option for the 2018-2019 flu season.

The LAIV4 vaccine has not been recommended for the previous two seasons due to its poor effectiveness against H1N1 in children. However, the new formulation of the LAIV4 vaccine makes use of a different H1N1 virus.

Other changes and updates to the CDC’s recommendations include the following:

The trivalent influenza vaccine will include an A/Michigan/45/2015 (H1N1)pdm09–like virus, an A/Singapore/INFIMH-16-0019/2016 (H3N2)-like virus, and a B/Colorado/06/2017–like virus (Victoria lineage). Quadrivalent vaccines will contain these 3 viruses and a B/Phuket/3073/2013–like virus (Yamagata lineage).

Individuals with a history of egg allergy may receive and recommended and age-appropriate influenza vaccine (IIV, RIV4, LAIV4.

Afluria Quadrivalent vaccine may now be administered to individuals aged 5 years and older, rather than 18 years and older. Further, Fluarix Quadrivalent may now be administered to individuals aged 6 months and older, rather than 3 years and older.

“Balancing considerations regarding the unpredictability of timing of onset of the influenza season and concerns that vaccine-induced immunity might wane over the course of a season, it is recommended that vaccination should be offered by the end of October.”

“Although vaccination by the end of October is recommended, vaccine administered in December or later, even if influenza activity has already begun, is likely to be beneficial in the majority of influenza seasons.”

—Michael Potts

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