MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Dr. Mark Loeb
BSc (McGill), MD (McGill), MSc (McMaster), FRCPC
Professor, Department of Pathology and Molecular Medicine
Joint Member, Dept of Clinical Epidemiology & Biostatistics
Division Director, Infectious Diseases, McMaster University
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
Response: The background for this study is that in the U.S, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), the committee that advises the CDC on vaccination policy, decided this June not to recommend LAIV (nasal live vaccine) for children. This is because of non-randomized studies conducted in the U.S suggesting that the vaccine was ineffective. This was an unprecedented decision in influenza vaccine policy making for children.
Our study, a randomized, blinded, controlled trial, which is the most rigorous type of study design, conducted over 3 years (2012-13, 2013-2014, 2014-2015 influenza seasons), showed in fact very similar protection for children and their communities for the live and inactivated vaccines. We conducted the study in the Hutterite community of Western Canada which allowed us to compare the effect of the vaccines in entire communities. That is, we were able to study the direct effect and the indirect effect of these vaccines.
MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?
Response: That randomized trial data conducted in Canada showed a very similar protection with either the live nasal vaccine and the injectable vaccine.
MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?
Response: It is important to understand the difference in results between our randomized trial and the findings of the observational studies in the U.S. It is also important to study both direct and indirect effects of vaccines and to conduct randomized controlled trials which is a strength of medical research at McMaster University.
MedicalResearch.com: Thank you for your contribution to the MedicalResearch.com community.
Loeb M, Russell ML, Manning V, Fonseca K, Earn DJ, Horsman G, et al. Live Attenuated Versus Inactivated Influenza Vaccine in Hutterite Children: A Cluster Randomized Blinded Trial. Ann Intern Med. [Epub ahead of print 16 August 2016] doi:10.7326/M16-0513
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