Flu...again!

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Flu...again!

Lesha
Hi Catherina and Science mom,

I received a flu shot last year and my kids received the nasal mist.  When getting the flu shot this year, I asked the pharmacist why it is necessary to get another shot with the same strains this year.  She said that our immune response to viral vaccines isn't as long-lasting as our response to bacterial vaccines.  She said that the efficacy of a viral vaccine is about 10 months.  *Is there any research to support this claim?  I was thinking about it, and the big vaccines for kids that are viral are all live: MMR and V.  Since my kids received the live flumist, is there research that states that the immune response to a live flu vaccine would last more than one season?  

Thank you!
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Re: Flu...again!

Science Mom
Administrator
Hi Lesha, I'm afraid that you received incorrect information.  The immune response to the vaccine lasts years but they are given yearly because the strains are changed every year.  I think that this confuses people so they assume that the vaccine immunity doesn't last long.

SM
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Re: Flu...again!

Middle Roader
But isn't this year's vaccine the same as last year's?  I keep hearing this and so I would also wonder why you would need to repeat the shot this year.  Or is this year's shot similar but not the same as last year's?
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Science Mom
Administrator
Yes Middle Roader, they are the same:
2010-2011 http://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/qa/1011_vac_selection.htm
    * an A/California/7/2009 (H1N1)–like virus;
    * an A/Perth/16/2009 (H3N2)–like virus;
    * and a B/Brisbane/60/2008–like virus.

2011-2012 http://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/qa/vaccine-selection.htm
    * an A/California/7/2009 (H1N1)-like virus;
    * an A/Perth/16/2009 (H3N2)-like virus; and
    * a B/Brisbane/60/2008-like virus.

*Note: A/Wisconsin/15/2009 and A/Victoria/210/2009 are A/Perth/16/2009-like viruses.

These are the same virus strains that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) selected for inclusion in the Northern Hemisphere vaccine being used in the United States during the 2010-2011 season.

You don't really need to repeat the vaccine but uptake is encouraged to keep demand up for manufacturing purposes.  Yes, I know.

SM
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Re: Flu...again!

Middle Roader
Good to know.  I actually didn't get a flu shot last year and my DD was too young for it to be effective.  This year I have a new DS (and my husband can't get the flu vax) so DD got the mist at DS's 2week appmnt and I got the shot before I left the hospital.  Just wondering why those who got it last year would need to bother. :)
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Re: Flu...again!

Lesha
In reply to this post by Science Mom
I appreciate that, but are there any studies that have specifically looked at immunity to the strains beyond one year?
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Re: Flu...again!

Science Mom
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Yes Lesha, Most recently, H1N1 vaccine recipients from 1976 were protected from the 2009 H1N1 pandemic.  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2946351/?tool=pmcentrez

SM