Flu Vaccine FAQs

A Centers for Disease Control (CDC) advisory committee recently announced that FluMist, the nasal spray influenza vaccine, should no longer be used.

What prompted this change?

The CDC advisory committee that conducted the research found that FluMist, compared to the injectable vaccine, performed poorly against fighting the flu.

Who made up the committee and what was the research?

Research that contributed to this decision was led by PittVax, a University of Pittsburgh-based research group that studies the effectiveness of annual flu vaccines. After being awarded a $5.5 million grant from the CDC, they recently completed a 5 year study including nearly 500 local children and their families, enrolled primarily by Pediatric PittNet, the University of Pittsburgh CTSI pediatric practice-based research network. Their studies included a series of approximately 6,500 tests that analyzed the effectiveness of flu vaccines. The result was the recommendation to discontinue the current formulation of nasal spray flu vaccine. PittVax was recently awarded funding to continue this research for the next five years. The research team thanks all participating children, families and practices for supporting this important work. Visit www.pedspittnet.pitt.edu for more information about the network.

Is the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) following the CDC’s recommendation?

Yes. The AAP president has stated that they support the CDC’s decision. They recommend health care providers use the injectable shot this upcoming flu season.

Is CCP following the CDC’s recommendation?

Yes. CCP closely follows the recommendations of the AAP and the CDC. We will no longer be administering FluMist.

Since FluMist will no longer be available, will there be enough vaccines this upcoming flu season?

The CDC is already working closely with manufacturers to make sure the vaccine supply will meet the demand. CCP is in a good position to supply the flu vaccine to our patients this season.

Is it safe for my child to get a flu shot?

Yes. Even though FluMist is no longer recommended, the age recommendations have not changed. The CDC and AAP still recommend that everyone 6 months of age or older should receive a season flu vaccine.