Review these flu FAQs to learn more

FAQs

What does the ACIP recommendation for 2016-17 influenza season mean?

Every year the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) develops recommendations on how to use vaccines to control disease in the United States. The ACIP meets three times a year. The recommendations include the age(s) when the vaccines should be given, the number of doses needed, and the amount of time between doses, and precautions and contraindications.

The ACIP recommended that FluMist Quadrivalent not be used for the 2016-17 season.

The Committee's recommendations are forwarded to CDC’s Director for approval. Once the ACIP recommendations have been reviewed and approved by the CDC Director and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, they are published in CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR). The MMWR publication represents the final and official CDC recommendations for immunization of the U.S. population. The ACIP recommendation to not use FluMist Quadrivalent for the 2016-2017 season was published in the August 26, 2016 MMWR.

We encourage patients and caregivers to have conversations with their healthcare providers about this year’s ACIP recommendation as part of discussions around influenza vaccination.

What is FluMist Quadrivalent?

It is the only needle-free, nasal-spray flu vaccine that starts working where the flu typically starts—in the nose. One dose helps protect eligible adults and children, 2-49 years of age, from the 4 strains of the flu contained in the vaccine. Some young children may require 2 doses of the vaccine. Your healthcare provider will advise you. FluMist Quadrivalent may not prevent influenza in everyone who gets vaccinated.

Why do I need protection against 4 strains of flu?

Every year, the CDC identifies which flu strains are currently circulating around the world. Then, they forecast which strains will circulate in the upcoming flu season. Based on that forecast, the CDC selects 2 A strains and 2 B strains and gives that recommendation to flu vaccine manufacturers.

However, circulating flu is unpredictable, and the circulating strain may not be one that is contained in the vaccine. Quadrivalent vaccines may help reduce the risk of the flu by helping to protect against the 4 strains recommended by the CDC.

How is it administered?

FluMist Quadrivalent is a fine mist that is sprayed into each side of the nose. You can breathe normally while getting it. There is no need to inhale or sniff.

Can adults get FluMist Quadrivalent?

Yes. Adults through 49 years of age may be eligible to get FluMist Quadrivalent. Your family relies on you to stay well, so ensuring that all eligible members of your family—including yourself—get vaccinated is the best way to keep your household flu-free.

Can my family or I get the flu from FluMist Quadrivalent?

FluMist Quadrivalent is a live vaccine that has been specifically engineered to not make you sick. To date, there have been no reports of FluMist Quadrivalent causing the flu.

Should I be worried that FluMist Quadrivalent is a live vaccine?

No. Live vaccines like FluMist Quadrivalent are engineered to protect, not infect. Similar to vaccines for chicken pox or measles, FluMist Quadrivalent contains weakened live virus strains. The virus strains are modified and cannot cause influenza. Instead, they help protect against influenza by triggering an immune response in the nose—the place where the flu usually starts.

Can I get FluMist Quadrivalent if I am in close contact with someone who has a weakened immune system?

People who have contact with others with weakened (but not severely weakened) immune systems due to underlying illness (e.g., diabetes, asthma, and heart disease) can get the nasal spray vaccine. FluMist Quadrivalent has not been reported to cause the flu in anyone with a weakened immune system. However, people who are in contact with others with severely weakened immune systems when they are being cared for in a protective environment (for example, people with hematopoietic stem cell transplants) should not get the nasal spray flu vaccine, or they should avoid contact with those persons for 7 days following receipt of the nasal spray vaccine.

Can I get FluMist Quadrivalent when I'm sick?

Yes. If you have a mild illness, such as a cold, you can still receive the FluMist Quadrivalent vaccine. However, if nasal congestion is present that might limit delivery of the vaccine to the nasal lining, delaying vaccination until the nasal congestion is reduced should be considered.

Why do some people who get a flu vaccine still get sick with flu-like symptoms? Here are some reasons:

  • Flu-like symptoms may be caused by other respiratory viruses
  • It can take up to 2 weeks for a vaccine to take effect. So a person may have been exposed to the flu virus shortly before getting vaccinated
  • You may have been exposed to a different flu virus (a mismatch) than the virus the vaccine was designed to help protect against
  • The flu vaccine cannot guarantee 100% protection against the flu

Is it better to get the flu than the flu vaccine?

The CDC states that the best way to prevent the flu is by getting a flu vaccine each year. The flu is serious, particularly among young children, older adults, and people with certain chronic health conditions such as asthma, heart disease, or diabetes.

What are the most common side effects of FluMist Quadrivalent?

The most common side effects are runny or stuffy nose, sore throat, and fever over 100°F.

Does FluMist Quadrivalent have preservatives or latex?

No. It does not contain mercury or any other preservatives or latex.

Is FluMist Quadrivalent right for me or my family members?

Children and adults 2 to 49 years of age may be eligible to get FluMist Quadrivalent. Only a doctor or qualified healthcare provider can decide if it is right for you or members of your family.

Who can administer FluMist Quadrivalent?

Only a healthcare provider (for example: a doctor, nurse, or pharmacist) can administer FluMist Quadrivalent.

Who should NOT get FluMist Quadrivalent?

Those who should not get FluMist Quadrivalent are:

  • People who are allergic to eggs or other vaccine ingredients
  • People who have ever had a life-threatening reaction to a flu vaccine
  • Kids and teenagers 2 to 17 who take aspirin or products with aspirin in them
  • Kids under 2 years of age, because they may wheeze after getting it

Who may not be able to get FluMist Quadrivalent?

When determining if FluMist Quadrivalent is right for you or members of your family, you should always consult your doctor or qualified healthcare provider. FluMist Quadrivalent may not be appropriate for the following types of people:

  • People who are currently wheezing
  • Children who are 2 to 5 years of age with a history of wheezing
  • People who have had Guillain-Barré syndrome
  • People who are in close contact with someone with a very weak immune system
  • People with a weak immune system; people who have problems with their heart, kidneys, or lungs; or people who have diabetes
  • Pregnant or nursing women
  • People taking Tamiflu®, Relenza®, amantadine, or rimantadine
  • If you or your child falls into one of these groups, be sure to tell your healthcare provider. They will help you decide if FluMist Quadrivalent is right for you or your family. FluMist Quadrivalent may not protect everyone from the flu.

When should I get FluMist Quadrivalent?

Although flu season typically begins in October and can last until May, eligible children and adults ages 2 through 49 should get FluMist Quadrivalent as early as the vaccine becomes available.

Please see complete Product Information, including Patient Information.

If you have questions, feel free to visit http://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/qa/
nasalspray.htm
or ask your doctor or retail pharmacist for more information.