No More Doctor’s Visits: Flu Vaccines May Soon Be Available at Home

No More Doctor’s Visits: Flu Vaccines May Soon Be Available at Home

Flu season is coming. Are you prepared? Get your flu vaccine at home and protect yourself and your loved ones from the flu.

The US Food and Drug Administration is currently evaluating an application for the nasal spray flu vaccine, FluMist, to be made available for self-administration at home, according to drugmaker AstraZeneca’s announcement on Tuesday.

FluMist, the only nasal spray option for flu vaccination, has been accessible in the United States since 2003. AstraZeneca has submitted a request to the FDA, seeking approval for adults aged 18 to 49 to self-administer the vaccine or for parents to administer it to children as young as 2 years old. This request is based on a “usability study” demonstrating that people can correctly use the vaccine without the presence of a healthcare provider. If approved, this would mark the first self-administered flu vaccine clearance.

Patients would still need to order the vaccine through an online pharmacy system, and it would be shipped to their homes in temperature-controlled packaging, as explained by AstraZeneca’s Dr. Lisa Glasser.

The aim is to boost flu vaccine uptake, given that fewer than half of Americans receive the recommended seasonal flu vaccine each year, as suggested by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Dr. Glasser stated that one lesson learned from the COVID-19 pandemic is that individuals can take more responsibility for their healthcare. The FDA is expected to make a decision on allowing self-administration of FluMist in the first quarter of the upcoming year. If approved, self-administration would be available for the 2024-2025 flu season, but traditional administration through healthcare professionals would still be an option.

While physicians welcomed the prospect of enhanced accessibility, they didn’t anticipate a significant change in vaccination rates. Documentation would be vital to avoid accidental double vaccinations, and the online ordering system would ensure vaccine recipients meet the necessary criteria.

FluMist employs a live, weakened form of the influenza virus for protection against the flu, differing from injectable versions that use different technology. AstraZeneca asserts that FluMist is as effective as other flu vaccines.

Dr. Ashish Jha, dean of the Brown School of Public Health, believes a self-administered flu vaccine option would be more accessible if it were available for purchase in pharmacies. It could also cater to those who may be needle-phobic. However, the overall impact is expected to be modest if the FDA grants approval.

Nonetheless, this development is seen as a positive step that could potentially lead to increased awareness and further research into easy-to-administer intranasal vaccines.

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Ingrid Mueller

Ingrid Mueller, a literary expert with a Ph.D. in Literature from Yale University, brings a touch of artistry to her writing. Her critical analyses and cultural insights provide a fresh perspective on trending news. Ingrid's articles are a treat for those seeking a deeper understanding of the world around them. Explore the trends through her unique lens.

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