"Our experience has been that children are generally quite accepting of a vaccine that does not involve a needle," Malinoski said. "Additionally, parents and health care providers may appreciate that FluMist works differently than the flu shot in that it uses live, attenuated -- or weakened -- vaccine viruses within the vaccine to help stimulate an immune response that closely resembles the body's natural protective response to an influenza infection. This may also explain why we have observed some protection against mismatched strains in past seasons."
While past clinical trial results are not indicative of future results,
in multiple studies across several seasons FluMist demonstrated that it
could help offer protection against mismatched influenza A strains(3).
-- In a two-year, multicenter, randomized, double-blind placebo-controlled
trial (conducted between 1996-1998) in children 24 months-71 months of
age, FluMist provided comparable protection in a year with matched
strains (95 percent protection -- year two) and a year with mismatched
strains (87 percent protection -- year two). The mismatched strain
that circulated during the studied season was A/Sydney (H3N2).
-- In a head-to-head study conducted during the 2004-2005 influenza season
that included over 4,000 children between two and five years of age,
when looking specifically at strains that were mismatched, there were
54.2 percent fewer cases of flu in children who received FluMist versus
those that received the flu shot (Attack rate 3.2 percent vs 7.1
percent, respectively). The mismatched strains that circulated during
the studied season were A/California-like (H3N2), B/Florida and
B/Victoria lineage strains.
MedImmune strongly supports the CDC's efforts to encourage vaccination
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