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Subsequent season, you might be able to take your flu vaccine at residence

By Meg Tirrell | CNN

The US Meals and Drug Administration is reviewing an utility for the nasal spray flu vaccine FluMist to have the ability to be self-administered at residence, drugmaker AstraZeneca mentioned Tuesday.

The vaccine, the one nasal spray possibility towards flu, has been available on the market in the USA since 2003. AstraZeneca has requested the FDA to permit adults ages 18 to 49 to have the ability to give themselves the vaccine, or to provide it to kids as younger as age 2, citing a “usability research” displaying individuals can do it correctly and not using a well being care supplier current. If authorized, it might be the primary flu vaccine cleared for self-administration.

Sufferers would nonetheless have to undergo a web-based pharmacy system to order the vaccine, which might then be shipped to their residence in temperature-controlled packaging, AstraZeneca’s Dr. Lisa Glasser informed CNN.

The hope is {that a} self-administered flu vaccine possibility may enhance uptake; whereas the US Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention recommends everybody age 6 months and older get a seasonal flu vaccine yearly, fewer than half of People get vaccinated.

“One of many issues we’ve discovered from the pandemic is that really individuals can do issues for themselves, they will take possibly extra accountability for their very own well being care in their very own arms than maybe we realized and even thought potential,” Glasser, AstraZeneca’s head of US medical affairs, vaccines and immune therapies, mentioned in an interview.

In the course of the Covid-19 pandemic, she famous, “we put nasal swab exams in individuals’s arms they usually used them efficiently.”

The FDA is predicted to decide about whether or not to clear FluMist for self-administration within the first three months of subsequent 12 months, AstraZeneca mentioned. If the FDA OKs the change, AstraZeneca mentioned FluMist can be obtainable for self-administration within the 2024-2025 flu season. It could nonetheless be obtainable by means of conventional channels as nicely, administered on the physician’s workplace or pharmacy, Glasser mentioned.

Physicians welcomed the information a flu vaccine may change into extra accessible, however didn’t count on a possible approval for self-administration would change vaccination charges considerably.

“If this might enhance compliance, that may be incredible,” Dr. Aaron Glatt, chief of infectious illnesses and hospital epidemiologist at Mount Sinai South Nassau, informed CNN.

Documentation can be essential, although, mentioned Glatt, additionally a spokesperson for the Infectious Illnesses Society of America — in order that sufferers don’t by accident get the vaccine greater than as soon as, or say they obtained it with out truly having had it.

Glasser mentioned AstraZeneca will present a technique to make documentation “sensible and useful for not just for the affected person, or the particular person, but additionally for his or her well being care professionals,” although she mentioned it was too early to supply particulars.

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