The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) voted to recommend a preference for using the nasal spray flu vaccine (i.e., LAIV) instead of the flu shot (i.e., IIV) in healthy children 2-8 years of age when it is immediately available.
ACIP is a panel of immunization experts that advises the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This new ACIP recommendation is based on a review of available studies that suggests the nasal spray flu vaccine can provide better protection than the flu shot in this age group against laboratory-confirmed, medically attended flu illness.
The recommendation also says that if the nasal spray flu vaccine is not immediately available, the flu shot should be given so that opportunities to vaccinate children are not missed or delayed. Flu shots continue to be approved and recommended for vaccination of children and adults as indicated. Since 2010, CDC and ACIP have recommended that everyone 6 months and older get a flu vaccine annually with rare exception. This new ACIP recommendation must next be approved by the CDC director. The recommendation would then be incorporated into the 2014-2015 influenza prevention and control recommendations, and published in a Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), at which point it would become official CDC policy.