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Vaccine. 2001 Aug 14;19(31):4373-7.

Live attenuated influenza virus vaccines: new options for the prevention of influenza.

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Medicine Service (111), VA Medical Center, University of Minnesota Medical School, One Veterans Drive, Minneapolis, MN 55417, USA.


Live attenuated influenza virus (LAIV) vaccines present new possibilities for the prevention and control of influenza. Administered intranasally, LAIV vaccines offer a needle-free route of administration. These investigational vaccines have also been shown to be safe and effective in children and healthy working adults. A 2-year placebo-controlled trial among young children (1996-1997 and 1997-1998 influenza seasons) demonstrated that LAIV vaccine was associated with a 92% reduction in laboratory-confirmed cases of influenza. Vaccination also significantly reduced episodes of otitis media and antibiotic use. In a placebo-controlled trial among healthy working adults during the 1997-1998 season, LAIV vaccine significantly reduced episodes of febrile upper respiratory tract illness and illness-associated work loss, health-care use, and antibiotic use. Seventy percent of study participants self-administered the vaccine. An economic analysis of the benefits of LAIV vaccine in this population suggests that the break-even cost for LAIV vaccine and its administration for healthy working adults would be about $39. For both children and healthy adults, LAIV vaccine provided substantial protection during the 1997-1998 season when the predominant circulating virus, the A/Sydney variant, was not contained in the vaccine. Studies are still underway to evaluate the potential incremental benefits of LAIV vaccine in addition to inactivated vaccine in high-risk populations. LAIV vaccines will be an important addition to the armamentarium for fighting influenza.

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