December 2, 2023

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 house, drugmaker AstraZeneca mentioned Tuesday.

The vaccine, the one nasal spray possibility towards flu, has been in the marketplace in america 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 present it to kids as younger as age 2, citing a “usability examine” exhibiting individuals can do it correctly and not using a well being care supplier current. If authorised, it will be the primary flu vaccine cleared for self-administration.

Sufferers would nonetheless must undergo an internet pharmacy system to order the vaccine, which might then be shipped to their house in temperature-controlled packaging, AstraZeneca’s Dr. Lisa Glasser advised 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 Individuals get vaccinated.

“One of many issues we’ve discovered from the pandemic is that really individuals can do issues for themselves, they’ll take possibly extra accountability for their very own well being care in their very own palms than maybe we realized and even thought doable,” 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 checks in individuals’s palms and so they used them efficiently.”

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

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

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

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

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