ACIP recommends needle-free, nasal flu vaccine for kids

June 30, 2014

The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention’s (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) has recommended that when available, the needle-free, nasal flu vaccine (Live Attenuated Influenza Vaccine [LAIV]) should be used for healthy children aged 2 to 8 years, who have no contraindications or precautions.

The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention’s (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) has recommended that when available, the needle-free, nasal flu vaccine (Live Attenuated Influenza Vaccine [LAIV]) should be used for healthy children aged 2 to 8 years, who have no contraindications or precautions. 

It’s reportedly the first time the ACIP has recommended a specific brand (FluMist Quadrivalent, MedImmune Specialty Care Division of AstraZeneca) of flu vaccine. However, parents and pediatricians will be able to treat a child with any flu vaccine.

LAIV is covered by more than 99% of health insurance plans with immunization benefits, according to an AstraZeneca press release. WebMD reported that FluMist costs about $23 and shots range from about $8 to $22.

“The ACIP’s preferential recommendation for LAIV among healthy children 2 to 8 years old is an important step toward increasing flu vaccination rates for children and their families,” according to Mary Catherine Dundon, MD, associate clinical professor of pediatrics at Vanderbilt Children's Hospital, Nashville, Tenn.

“Hospitals, managed care organizations and health management organizations look at high vaccination rates as a measure of quality, so the recommendation is an important step in this direction,” Dr Dundon continued.

“The recommendation for LAIV use in this population may also have additional benefits regarding ease of administration and potentially greater acceptance of flu vaccination since the vaccine is needle-free,” she said. “It should also help guide healthcare professionals in the protection of children, who have a high burden of influenza disease.”