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Nasal Flu Vaccine Warnings From Federal Should Not Last Long, Study Suggests

By Staff Writer | Apr 26, 2017 03:13 AM EDT

A new study shows that recent federal recommendations condemning inhaled nasal influenza vaccine could lead to more flu illness in the U.S. if the vaccine proves to be effective again. Their analysis also concluded that the recommendations would be harmful if not having the choice of the needle-less vaccine reduces immunization rates among the people.

The new study by scientists from University of Pittsburg School of Medicine indicates that there should be a close surveillance about the distribution of nasal flu vaccine. The findings, which was published online at the website of American Journal of Preventive Medicine and would be scheduled to be published in their coming issue, said that they need to ensure that the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CSC) recommendations against the vaccine should show that it would be for the better.

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"The CDC is being appropriately cautious and doing the right thing based on available data," Kenneth J. Smith, lead author of the study said. Smith, who is also a professor of medicine and clinical and translational science in the Pitt's School of Medicine said that their study finds that it would take some relatively small changes to tip the scales back in favor of offering the nasal flu vaccine.

Currently, the Pittsburgh Vaccination Research Group (PittVax), one of the few sites across the US that track flu in patients, did not receive the annual flu vaccine. Moreover, the data that they collate is shared with the advisory committee of CDC on immunization practices that led to CDC condemning the nasal flu vaccine.

The current condition shows that the offering of the needle-delivered results to a 20.9 percent of children ages 2 to 8 to get the flu.  It is lower compared with 23.5 percent if both the needle and nasal vaccine are offered. The researchers of the study also concluded that if not having the needle-less vaccine as an option drives down vaccination rates by 18.7 percent or more, then offering both options is the better recommendation, Science Daily has reported. 

CDC has been against the nasal flu vaccine because of the records showing ineffectiveness at preventing influenza A, which is typically the most common strain. In the past, the vaccine was usually offered to children 2 to 8 years old.

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