AAP: No flu preference for 2020-21 season

In March of this year, the AAP released a statement saying that once again pediatricians can use either flu shots or nasal spray flu vaccines for their patients. This guidance applies to the 2020-21 flu season, and is the same recommendation issued for the 2019-20 season. The AAP and CDC did not recommend using the nasal spray in 2016-17 or 2017-18 due to poor effectiveness against H1N1 strains. LAIV manufacturer AstraZeneca has since changed the formulation of the vaccine.

According to a report issued by the CDC in April, 166 children died during the 2019-20 flu season. The CDC estimates about 39 million people have gotten sick with flu, 410,000 have been hospitalized and 24,000 have died this season. Hospitalization rates for children remain unusually high. Children ages 4 and under have been hospitalized at a rate of 94.1 per 100,000 children, the highest the CDC has on record for this age group. Last season’s vaccine was 55% effective for children and teens according to the CDC.