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Live attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV): recent effectiveness results from the USA and implications for LAIV programmes elsewhere
  1. Richard Pebody1,
  2. Jim McMenamin2,
  3. Hanna Nohynek3
  1. 1 Respiratory Diseases Department, National Infection Service, Public Health England, London, UK
  2. 2 Health Protection Scotland, Glasgow, UK
  3. 3 Vaccine Programme Unit, Health Security Department, National Institute for Health and Welfare, Helsinki, Finland
  1. Correspondence to Dr Richard Pebody, Respiratory Diseases Department, National Infection Service, Public Health England, 61 Colindale Avenue, London, UK; Richard.Pebody{at}


The USA has a long-standing paediatric influenza vaccination programme, including use of live attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV). Following US evidence of apparent lack of vaccine effectiveness (VE) of LAIV in 2015/2016, particularly against A(H1N1)pdm09, the USA suspended the use of LAIV in the 2016/2017 season. The UK introduced LAIV for children in 2013/2014 and Finland in 2015/2016. Both countries have since been closely monitoring programme performance. In 2015/2016, the UK and Finland, unlike the USA, found evidence of significant VE of LAIV against laboratory-confirmed influenza. Several studies, however, reported relatively lower VE of LAIV against A(H1N1)pdm09 infection compared with inactivated influenza vaccine, although not for A(H3N2) or B. The reasons for these apparent differences remain under investigation. Both the UK and Finland continue to recommend the use of LAIV in children for the 2017/2018 season and are intensifying further monitoring of their childhood programmes against a range of end-points.

  • children
  • live attenuated influenza vaccine
  • effectiveness

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  • Contributors RP wrote the first draft. JM and HN both contributed to this draft. All coauthors approved the final version.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; externally peer reviewed.