AstraZeneca announced yesterday that the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has voted in favor of a renewed recommendation for the use of FLUMIST® QUADRIVALENT (Influenza Vaccine Live, Intranasal) in the US for the 2018-2019 season. The recommendation follows the presentation of positive results from a US study in children between the ages of 2 to <4 years evaluating the shedding and antibody responses of the H1N1 strain in the live attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV)/FLUMIST QUADRIVALENT.
Study results demonstrated that the new 2017-2018 H1N1 LAIV post-pandemic strain (A/Slovenia) performed significantly better than the 2015-2016 H1N1 LAIV post-pandemic strain (A/Bolivia), which was previously associated with reduced effectiveness. The antibody response induced with the new H1N1 LAIV strain was comparable to earlier data seen with the highly effective H1N1 LAIV strain included in the vaccine before the 2009 influenza pandemic.
Gregory Keenan, Vice President, US Medical Affairs, AstraZeneca, said: “This study validates the improvements we’ve made to our strain selection process and confirms an improved H1N1 LAIV strain was included in the 2017-2018 formulation. We are pleased that the ACIP has voted in support of a renewed recommendation for FLUMIST QUADRIVALENT in the US and look forward to continuing to work with public health authorities to optimize protection against influenza.”
FLUMIST QUADRIVALENT is approved for use in the US, Canada and the European Union. Limited quantities of FLUMIST QUADRIVALENT continue to be available in the US for the current 2017-2018 season. FLUMIST QUADRIVALENT will be available in the US for the 2018-2019 influenza season, pending annual strain approval from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The vaccine has remained recommended for use and available in Canada and EU.