As Flu Season Looms, Studies Conflict
This past June, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended against using the nasal flu vaccine for the upcoming flu season. According to the CDC, there isn’t enough evidence that the vaccine works. Now, a new study is raising some questions about the CDC’s position.
The Canadian study focused on 52 rural communities from 2012 to 2015. Researchers assigned 1,186 children between the ages of three and 15 to receive either the nasal flu vaccine or a flu shot. Over the course of 3 years, 5.3 percent of children who received the nasal flu vaccine and 5.2 percent of those who received the flu shot developed influenza.
Information about the nasal flu vaccine’s effectiveness has often seemed confusing. This latest study shows that it is as clinically effective as the flu shot. Prior to 2013, the CDC recommended the nasal vaccine for children, considering it very effective. In 2013, a fourth strain of influenza was added to the flu vaccine used in the U.S. In the Canadian study, the trivalent (3-strain) vaccine was used. Without a doubt, there is more to come on this issue.
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