CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) has published its recommendations for this season’s influenza immunization in the August 25 Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. As in previous years, ACIP continues to recommend annual influenza immunization for all people age 6 months or older, and that immunization providers offer the immunizations before the end of October. Children ages 6 months through 8 years who need 2 doses should receive their first dose as soon as the vaccine becomes available so they may receive their second dose by the end of October.
The report notes the composition of the 2017-18 influenza vaccinations. The U.S. 2017-18 trivalent influenza vaccines contain A/Michigan/45/2015 (H1N1)pdm09–like virus, an A/Hong Kong/4801/2014 (H3N2)–like virus, and a B/Brisbane/60/2008–like virus (Victoria lineage). The additional virus strain in quadrivalent vaccines is a B/Phuket/3073/2013–like virus (Yamagata lineage), which is a change in the influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 virus component from last season.
Other updates to the recommendations include:
ACIP continues to recommend that providers do not use live attenuated influenza vaccine (FluMist Quadrivalent LAIV4, MedImmune) because of its low effectiveness against influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 in the US during the 2013–14 and 2015–16 seasons.
Pharmacists who would like to share information with their patients about the upcoming influenza season can direct their patients to CDC’s influenza website at https://www.cdc.gov/flu/.