Flu cases finally dropping in Western Pennsylvania
24 February, 2018, 11:50
The nasal spray alternative to the seasonal flu shot has been off the market for two years (including for this flu season) because of its poor performance against a common flu strain in children. It was first licensed in 2003 and is approved for healthy people ages 2 to 49.
An official from AstraZeneca, the company that makes FluMist, said the problem with the vaccine has been identified and corrected. The flu vaccine changes from year to year, depending on what flu bugs are going around.
There are several different formulations of influenza vaccine.
In the meanwhile, an ACIP working group, led by the CDC's Lisa Grohskpof, MD, MPH, has been churning through data on the vaccine from the United States and other countries, which led to today's proposal and committee vote.
"We wanted to provide reassurance that these vaccines, which are recommended for every woman during pregnancy, aren't creating a risk for the baby", she added.
AstraZeneca, which makes FluMist at its MedImmune subsidiary outside Washington, D.C., said it reformulated the H1N1 component of the vaccine and presented evidence that it now works better. FluMist is known as live attenuated influenza vaccine or LAIV.
That makes it better than nothing, panel members said.
"I have real mixed emotions about this because I think we want to protect as many people as we can, particularly, as a pediatrician, for children", said Dr. Henry Bernstein, a professor of pediatrics at Cohen Children's Medical Center in NY. Hospitalizations for the flu were also down about 8 percent.
"I have real mixed emotions about this", he said. The flu season is upon us once again, and it has been especially severe this winter. While the vaccine for the more serious flu viruses, Type A and B, has been shown to be only 36% effective, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention still encourage people to get vaccinated to prevent the flu from spreading further. Some said adding FluMist back to the line-up of vaccines might make it hard to explain the changes to patients and their families.
A winter weather advisory is in effect from midnight until 8 p.m. tomorrow as another winter storm heads toward Northern Arizona. Motorists should plan on slippery, snow-covered roads and hard travel conditions during the Advisory period.
US crude oil production for week ending February 9 was up this week, coming in at 10.271million bpd, yet another new high. The American Petroleum Institute showed a surprising fall in U.S. oil inventories by around 900,000 barrels last week.
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23 more flu deaths reported in SC
The numbers are among figures that show a big rise in new cases province-wide the last month. Hospitalizations are up 47 per cent with 2,438 people admitted to hospital with the flu.
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