Keeping the Flu Away: Akron Children’s Data Shows Nasal Spray to Be Ineffective
This past June, the CDC declared that the nasal spray vaccine known as FluMist® should not be used during the 2016-2017 flu season. The decision was based in part by research conducted at Akron Children’s.
It’s no secret that kids prefer a spray over a shot when it comes to seasonal flu vaccines. Yet, if the vaccine isn’t effective, it won’t help protect kids against influenza. The virus causes millions of bouts of flu each year – even requiring some kids to be hospitalized.
“This recommendation shows the importance of continually studying data to make – and adjust – the public health policies,” said Blaise Congeni, MD, director of infectious disease at Akron Children’s Hospital.
Convincing kids who had become used to the spray to take a shot instead might be a challenge, noted Dr. Congeni – but well worth the effort.
“Certainly, it was easier to convince kids to take the nasal spray, but if it’s not effective, then it’s critical we adjust our approach,” Dr. Congeni said. “Influenza is a serious disease that can lead to hospitalization and even death, and our children with special health needs are especially vulnerable. Akron Children’s took an important step in participating in this study to not only better protect children in our own region, but throughout the country.”
Support from the Rebecca D. Considine Research Institute made this research possible.
Planning for Optimal Impact: Pediatric Research
In 2015, a team of physicians, nurses, therapists, administrators, staff and board members came together to create a 5-year strategic plan to pursue research opportunities. They looked for those research areas that offered the most potential to impact the health of children, families and communities in northern Ohio, while also attracting eminent researchers to the cause.
Their efforts are part of the Rebecca D. Considine Research Institute’s bold plan for the future of pediatric research at Akron Children’s Hospital.
This strategic plan defines targeted goals within priority areas, while continuing support for existing research across many pediatric disciplines. As part of this effort, we’ll be investing in additional support services, data and analytics to grow our research efforts, support investigations to improve health services delivery and innovation, and help investigators cultivate this important body of work.