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Semin Pediatr Infect Dis. 2002 Apr;13(2):90-6.

Safety of the trivalent, cold-adapted influenza vaccine (CAIV-T) in children.

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Department of Molecular Virology and Microbiology, Rm 248E, Baylor College of Medicine, One Baylor Plaza, Houston, TX 77030, USA.


The trivalent, cold-adapted influenza vaccine (CAIV-T, FluMist, Aviron, Mountain View, CA) is a live attenuated influenza virus vaccine that is administered by nasal spray. CAIV-T is efficacious in preventing influenza virus infection. The vaccine was submitted to the Food and Drug Administration for licensure in healthy children and adults. Universal immunization is being considered in children, and an effective vaccine with minimal adverse reactions is thus required. The published studies on the safety of CAIV-T in children reviewed in this article were clinical trials sponsored by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) conducted in children from 1975 to 1991, clinical trials from 1991 to 1993 sponsored by a cooperative agreement between NIH and Wyeth-Ayerst Research, and clinical trials from 1995 to the present sponsored by a cooperative agreement between NIH and Aviron. Safety assessments included the occurrence of: 1) specific influenza-like symptoms, unexpected symptoms, and use of medications within the first 10 days after vaccination; 2) acute illness and use of medication within 11 to 42 days postvaccination; 3) serious adverse events and rare events within 42 days after vaccination; 4) healthcare utilization within 14 days after vaccination; and 5) acute respiratory symptoms with annual sequential vaccine doses. CAIV-T was safe and well-tolerated. Transient, mild respiratory symptoms were observed in a minority (10%-15%) of children and primarily with the first CAIV-T dose. Vomiting and abdominal pain occurred in fewer than 2 percent of CAIV-T recipients. The gastrointestinal symptoms were mild and of short duration. An excess of illness or use of medication was not observed after the 10th day of vaccination. Sequential annual doses of CAIV-T were well-tolerated and not associated with increased reactogenicity. CAIV-T did not cause an increase in healthcare utilization. Thus CAIV-T is safe in healthy children and should complement the use of inactivated influenza vaccine, trivalent (IIV-T) in children with underlying chronic conditions.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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