"THE HEART OF THE MATTER"
a special program of the National Emergency Medicine Association (NEMA)


(Return to Topic Page)

Week: 589.7 Pt. 2 

Guest: Dr. Dominick Iacuzio, Div. of Microbiology, Nat’l. Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, NIH 

Topic: Nasal spray flu immunization 

Host/Producer: Steve Girard 

NEMA: Now, a story on a different way to protect against the flu....kids hate shots, and a new, large multi-center study from a branch of the National Institutes of Health gauged the effectiveness of a nasal spray vaccine on healthy children during the last flu season. About two thirds of the kids got the vaccine, and the rest a placebo...this is Dr. Dominick Iacuzio...of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases...

IACUZIO: The results of the study indicated that only 1% of the children vaccinated experienced the culture-confirmed influenza, compared with 18% of the placebo group.  

NEMA: Dr. Iacuzio says the children will be vaccinated again this fall, again with half getting a single dose, and other half getting a placebo. They’ll be monitored for another flu season...and other age groups will also be tested...  

IACUZIO: There are studies actually underway now, with lot consistency studies, and other studies being planned for the elderly., all this data would be presented to the FDA, which would have a comprehensive data of the performance of this vaccine, not only in the young, pediatric population, but in the older age groups.  

NEMA: The elderly and the young are the two groups hardest hit by the flu. But this approach, like all new drugs and treatment applications, will take some time to get to market...  

IACUZIO: Everything needs to be statistically correct, and all the data has to be approved and gone over, and it’ll take another year before this study is finally packaged and sent to the FDA...and on an optimistic time schedule, it could be as early as the fall of 1999, which would be two years from now, where this vaccine would be available through your physician. But again, there’s a lot of work to do between now and then...but I’d say things, at this point, look very good.  

NEMA: So, in the future, we may not have to roll up our sleeves and brace for that funny, piercing feeling.... flu protection may be just a spray away...

Thanks for joining us for today’s program. If you have any comments or suggestions, contact this station. Or visit our home page at: www.nemahealth.org/ ...for a look at transcripts of this or past programs, or to find out more about the National Emergency Medicine Association. I’m Steve Girard at The Heart of the Matter.