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Don't Bother Using FluMist; It Just Doesn't Work

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Don't Bother Using FluMist; It Just Doesn't Work

The FluMist influenza vaccine doesn't work in protecting kids and adults against the flu, at least according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) voted on Wednesday to recommend the popular nasal spray, also known as live attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV), not be used during the 2016–2017 flu season.

Preliminary data was gathered by the CDC's committee in late May examined the effectiveness of LAIV among children aged two through 17. The data show the estimate for LAIV effectiveness against any flu virus to be just 3 percent.

By comparison, those who had received a flu vaccination had an effectiveness rate of 63 percent against any flu virus.

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However, the data and the committee's recommendation must first be reviewed and approved by the CDC's director before recommending against LAIV treatment as a matter of official CDC policy.

NBC News cited a statement from AstraZeneca plc (ADR) (NYSE: AZN), the makers of FluMist, as saying it is working with the CDC to "better understand its data to help ensure eligible patients continue to receive the vaccine in future seasons in the U.S."

AstraZeneca's statement also argued that the CDC's findings contradicts a 46–58 percent effective rate it found against the circulating influenza strains during the 2015–2016 season.

Despite the CDC's report, shares of AstraZeneca were trading higher by more than 1 percent Thursday.

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