"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

Needle-free flu vaccine for home use may very well be approved next yr

October 27, 2023 – A self-administered nasal spray flu vaccine could also be available next season.

Drug manufacturer AstraZeneca announced This week, the FDA announced that it's currently considering approving the needle-free option for home use. The vaccine, called FluMist, requires refrigeration and is delivered to people's homes in insulated packaging.

FluMist has been around for greater than 20 years and is approved for people ages 2 to 49. It has declined in popularity over time, including a time when a CDC advisory panel singled out FluMist as the popular flu vaccine for kids. Its effectiveness was later questioned, resulting in a reformulation, in keeping with STAT News reported.

AstraZeneca expects the FDA to make a choice on whether to approve home use of FluMist by spring 2024. The convenience of home use could increase the number of people that receive a flu vaccine, Dr. Ravi Jhaveri, chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases within the Department of Pediatrics at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.

“Vaccination rates for children and adults under 50 years of age declined during the 2022-2023 flu season, highlighting the need for more accessible solutions,” Jhaveri said in an AstraZeneca news release. “The ability for individuals and parents to choose where to receive an injection-free flu vaccine could help improve access and therefore vaccination rates and would be of great benefit to those most at risk from this serious and contagious respiratory disease .”

This is what the CDC says Flu activity So far this season stays low. Last week, 1,456 people were hospitalized with the flu. According to the CDC, 137 million flu vaccine doses have been distributed within the U.S., and as of Oct. 14, about 21% of kids had received the flu shot, much like last yr, the CDC said CDC. As of October 21, about 25% of adults had been vaccinated against flu, and by the tip of September, about 18% of pregnant women had received a flu shot, up barely from 17% last yr.

The CDC recommends that everybody ages 6 months and older get a flu shot.