U.S. spurns AstraZeneca's nasal spray flu
vaccine as ineffective
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[June 24, 2016]
By Ben Hirschler and Julie Steenhuysen
LONDON/CHICAGO - U.S. health officials have
advised doctors not to use AstraZeneca's FluMist in the upcoming flu
season based on three years of U.S. data showing that the nasal spray
vaccine is not effective at preventing influenza.
The decision, announced late Wednesday, was based on a review by the
Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices - a panel of experts
that advises the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention -
showing the vaccine did not offer adequate protection.
As a result of the move, the CDC said it will be working with
manufacturers throughout the summer to ensure there is enough
alternative vaccine supply.
FluMist Quadrivalent is currently the only licensed flu vaccine that
does not require a shot, making it a favored choice by parents of
In the past year, among children aged 2 to 17, FluMist was only 3
percent effective, meaning it offered "no protective benefit," the
CDC said. That compared with conventional flu shots, which were 63
percent effective against any flu virus among children in this age
AstraZeneca said the CDC data contrasted with its own studies as
well as preliminary independent findings by public health
authorities in other countries suggesting the vaccine was 46 to 58
percent effective overall against flu strains during the 2015-2016
U.S. sales of FluMist in 2015 totaled $206 million, or just under 1
percent of group revenue.
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The CDC said FluMist made up about 8 percent of the total projected
supply of 176 million doses of flu vaccine for the upcoming flu
"AstraZeneca is working with the CDC to better understand its data
to help ensure eligible patients continue to receive the vaccine in
future seasons in the U.S.," the company said in a statement on
"The distribution and use of the vaccine in other countries are
progressing as planned for the forthcoming influenza season, pending
the annual release process from relevant regulatory authorities."
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