Have you heard the news?
Dr. Bob and his new podcasting side kick think that the “CDC wants the FDA to approve adult doses of the flu vaccine for babies, because the normal half-doses approved for babies don’t work well enough.”
Did Dr. Bob Uncover a CDC Plot to Give Adult Flu Shots to Babies?
This is likely going to surprise Dr. Bob, but many infants already get the same dose of flu vaccine as adults.
Both FluLaval and Fluarix are given at the same 0.5ml dose, containing 15 µg of HA per vaccine virus, to infants, older children, and adults.
Fluzone, on the other hand, is still given at a 0.25ml dose, containing 7.5 µg of HA per vaccine virus, to children between the ages of 6 months to three years, and a larger 0.5ml dose to older kids and adults.
Why the differences?
“In a randomized trial comparing immunogenicity and safety of 0.5 mL FluLaval Quadrivalent with 0.25 mL Fluzone Quadrivalent, safety and reactogenicity were similar between the two vaccines.”Prevention and Control of Seasonal Influenza with Vaccines: Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices—United States, 2018–19 Influenza Season
Because they are just as safe at the lower doses and might actually work better.
Then why did we ever use a lower dose for infants?
That recommendation was based on the older, whole-virus version of the flu shot, which did cause more side effects for infants when given at a full dose. We now use split-virus flu shots that don’t have this problem.
And now, the manufacturer of Fluzone has done a study, and not surprisingly, they have also found that “safety profile of a 0.5 ml (full-dose) is similar to 0.25 ml (half-dose) and may be more immunogenic.”
So they are submitting a BLA to the FDA for the use of the 0.5ml dose of their flu vaccine for infants.
What about the idea of an “adult dose of mercury” for infants?
Over 80% of flu vaccines were thimerosal free this year. You almost have to go out of your way to get your kids a flu vaccine with thimerosal, so no, this won’t mean an “adult dose of mercury” for your infant.
Most importantly though, if you understand how vaccines work, you know that the dose of vaccines for kids and adults is not calibrated by weight or age, so none of this really matters. The immune reaction that helps antibodies travel all through your body starts locally, near where the vaccine was given, so a 20-pound infant and a 200-pound adult can get the same dose of flu shot and both can be protected.
More on Dr. Bob’s CDC Plot to Give Adult Flu Shots to Babies
- VAXOPEDIA – Aren’t Vaccines Made for Adults?
- VAXOPEDIA – Thimerosal Hype or Hazard
- VAXOPEDIA – Vaccines and the HAZMAT Team Myth
- VAXOPEDIA – Why Does the FDA Warn About Mercury in Fish, but Not Mercury in Flu Shots
- VAXOPEDIA – I Refuse to Listen to Bad Advice About Flu Shots, and I Won’t Apologize for It
- VAXOPEDIA – Retired Hospital Worker’s Flu Shot Speech at the ACIP Meeting
- VAXOPEDIA – What Is the Evidence for Alternative Vaccine Schedules?
- MMWR – Prevention and Control of Seasonal Influenza with Vaccines: Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices—United States, 2018–19 Influenza Season
- Influenza ACIP Vaccine Recommendations
- CDC – Influenza vaccines — United States, 2018–19 influenza season
- CDC – How Influenza (Flu) Vaccines Are Made
- CDC – Different Types of Flu Vaccines
- CDC – Seasonal Influenza Vaccine Supply for the U.S. 2018-2019 Influenza Season
- FDA – Influenza Virus Vaccine for the 2018-2019 Season
- FDA – Influenza Virus Vaccine Safety & Availability
- FDA – Statement from FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D., on FDA’s ongoing efforts to help improve effectiveness of influenza vaccines
- Study – Clinical reactions and serologic responses after vaccination with whole-virus or split-virus influenza vaccines in children aged 6 to 36 months.
- Study – Time to Change Dosing of Inactivated Quadrivalent Influenza Vaccine in Young Children: Evidence From a Phase III, Randomized, Controlled Trial.