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"Spray flu vaccine may be better for babies"


Source: CTV.CA

Published: 01 May 2022

Category: Pharmaceutical

Rating: (3 stars)

what they said (Hover the mouse cursor over underlined words for more info)

Associated Press
WASHINGTON -- Spraying flu vaccine into the noses of babies and preschoolers offers significantly more protection than shots, says one of the largest comparisons of flu inoculations ever performed.

The study, being presented Monday at a child-health meeting, found the spray vaccine was 55 per cent more effective than traditional flu shots when given to nearly 8,000 children under age 5.

The nasal spray FluMist, the only flu vaccine made of live but weakened influenza virus, now is sold only for children 5 and older. Manufacturer MedImmune Inc., which funded the new research, plans to seek government approval to sell FluMist for younger children as well....

The original article can found in the Media Doctor archives.

how did it rate? (more information)

Criteria Rating
Total Score 6 of 10
Availability of Treatment Not Satisfactory (?)
Novelty of Treatment Satisfactory (?)
Disease Mongering Not Satisfactory (?)
Treatment Options Satisfactory (?)
Costs of Treatment Not Satisfactory (?)
Evidence Satisfactory (?)
Quantification of Benefits of Treatment Satisfactory (?)
Harms of Treatment Satisfactory (?)
Sources of Information Not Satisfactory (?)
Relies on Press Release Not Applicable
Quantification of Harms of Treatment Satisfactory (?)

what we said (Hover the mouse cursor over underlined words for more info)

This is a US-based article about the administration of a relatively novel and non-invasive delivery method for the influenza A,B virus vaccine to a very young children. It does not appear to have been modified for a Canadian audience, and availability/use in a similar population in this country is not described. The article describes the results of a recent large study in which children under 5 years of age received the vaccine injectable or nasal spray, and those receiving the spray appeared to have a lower incidence of influenza illness. The authors do a credible job of describing the study design, vaccine benefits and potential harms, although the discussion of harms is limited to wheezing in the < 2 year nasal spray recipients. The theoretical benefits of delivering a vaccine via a nasal spray (vs. injection) are well described, and the authors qualify that the preparation used is not identical to that on the market. Unfortunately, no reference to costs relative to the injectable formulation is made, nor is their mention that under-vaccination of the population is a bigger problem than relative efficacy of the preparations. Reference to the high mortality rate (particularly in the elderly) associated with this disease and attributing this to very young children without reference to the availability of alternatives borders on disease-mongering. Overall, however, I felt that this was a relatively well-written article.

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