The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) has issued an update to the 2015-16 recommendations regarding the use of seasonal flu vaccinations and announced the strains included in the 2016-17 U.S. trivalent and quadrivalent vaccines.
Per usual, the annual flu shot is recommended for everyone as young as age 6 who do not have contraindications.
For the 2016-17 flu season, inactivated influenza vaccines will be available in both trivalent and quadrivalent formulations. Recombinant influenza vaccines, designed for people 18 years of age and older who have had a severe allergic reaction to eggs, are available in a trivalent formulation.
New this season, the CDC is recommending against the FluMist because the nasal spray was not effective against influenza A (H1N1) during the 2013-14 or the 2015-16 flu seasons.
The virus strains included in the 2016-17 U.S. trivalent influenza vaccines will be an A/California/7/2009 (H1N1)-like virus, an A/Hong Kong/4801/2016 (H3N2)-like virus, and a b/Brisbane/60/2008-like virus (Victorian lineage). Quadrivalent vaccines will include an additional influenza B virus strain, a B/Phuket/3073/2013-like virus (Yamagata lineage).
The guidelines no longer recommend that patients with egg allergies be observed for 30 minutes post-vaccination for signs of allergic reaction. However, the agency recommends people with a history of severe allergic reaction to eggs be vaccinated in an inpatient or outpatient medical setting under the supervision of a clinician who can recognize and manage severe allergic reactions in the event the patient experiences an attack.
The CDC guidelines recommend different vaccine types for various populations. The agency does not recommend one vaccination product over another in people for whom more than one flu vaccine is available. Clinicians were advised to consider seeing patients for 15 minutes post-vaccination to decrease the risk of injury if they lose consciousness from the injection.