United States health officials reverse stance on AstraZeneca's flu vaccine

22 February, 2018, 00:55 | Author: Clint Gray
  • First flu-related death of a child confirmed in Harris County

State officials say the flu appears to be leveling off across CT, but they still consider the season active.

The company said limited quantities of the vaccine continue to be available for the current season.

Even though this season's vaccine is proving to be less effective than officials expected, the CDC is still recommending vaccination.

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As of February 16, 2018, NMDOH reports 28 season-to-date flu outbreaks in long-term care facilitates (LTCFs), thirty-four flu-related deaths, all in adults, and 100 pneumonia-related deaths.

Two more Mainers died from the flu last week, bringing the seasonal total to 48, according to new data from the Maine Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

FluMist, made by an AstraZeneca subsidiary, was first approved in 2003. Unlike shots made from a killed virus, it is made from a live but weakened flu virus.

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20, eight children and one pregnant woman were reported to have died as a result of the flu in the state of Tennessee.

AstraZeneca has changed the way it tests and selects strains for the vaccine, said Dr. Raburn Mallory, a company official, speaking at the panel meeting in Atlanta. Still, William Schaffner, MD, Infectious Disease News Editorial Board member and professor of preventive medicine at Vanderbilt University, said he was pleased the committee recommended the spray again.

Some experts at the meeting anxious the panel's decision could further damage public confidence in flu vaccines. Flu outbreaks typically happen as early as October and can last as late as May. Interim findings show effectiveness for this year's flu vaccine was 36%, which was on the lower end of the typical range of flu vaccine effectiveness of 40-60%.

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Osterholm's colleagues who are older than 65 opted for the vaccines Fluad and Flublok for the 2017-18 season, he told STAT. Once the strains are selected, the FDA produces materials in our laboratories that are critical for making the vaccine.