WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 28, 2016

CDC recommends AstraZeneca influenza vaccine

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Advisory Committee on Immunization practices recently recommended AstraZeneca's Live Attenuated Influenza Vaccine (LAIV) for healthy children between 2-8 years of age.

The CDC decision to recommend LAIV was based on a review of the available safety efficacy of clinical evidence regarding influenza vaccines.

"The recommendation is the first time a preference for a specific type of influenza vaccine has been made within a certain population in the United States," Kathleen Coelingh, the senior director of AstraZeneca U.S. Medical Affairs, said. "In Canada and the United Kingdom LAIV is already the preferred influenza vaccine for eligible children 2-17 years of age based on recommendations by the Canadian National Advisory Committee on Immunization and the U.K.'s Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation, respectively."

The CDC said that individuals without an influenza vaccine should not delay even if LAIV is not available, with the inactivated influenza vaccine serving as an alternative.

Influenza vaccination rates in the U.S. currently stand at approximately 40-50 percent of the population. The CDC recommends that all individuals older than six months of age receive an influenza vaccine every year.

"AstraZeneca looks forward to continuing their collaboration with the public health community to help raise awareness about the importance of influenza vaccination for eligible preschool- and school-age children and their family members," Coelingh said.