Post-licensure surveillance of quadrivalent live attenuated influenza vaccine United States, Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS), July 2013-June 2014.Vaccine. 2015 Apr 15; 33(16):1987-92.V
Quadrivalent live attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV4) was approved in 2012 for healthy persons aged 2-49 years. Beginning with the 2013-2014 influenza season, LAIV4 replaced trivalent live attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV3).
We analyzed LAIV4 reports to VAERS, a national spontaneous reporting system. LAIV4 reports in 2013-2014 were compared to LAIV3 reports from the previous three influenza seasons. Medical records were reviewed for non-manufacturer serious reports (i.e., death, hospitalization, prolonged hospitalization, life-threatening illness, permanent disability) and reports of selected conditions of interest. We conducted Empirical Bayesian data mining to identify disproportional reporting for LAIV4.
In 2013-2014, 12.7 million doses of LAIV4 were distributed and VAERS received 779 reports in individuals aged 2-49 years; 95% were non-serious. Expired drug administered (42%), fever (13%) and cough (8%) were most commonly reported in children aged 2-17 years when LAIV4 was administered alone, while headache (18%), expired drug administered (15%) and exposure during pregnancy (12%) were most common in adults aged 18-49 years. We identified one death report in a child who died from complications of cerebellar vascular tumors. Among non-death serious reports, neurologic conditions were common in children and adults. In children, seizures (3) and Guillain-Barré syndrome (2) were the most common serious neurologic outcomes. We identified three serious reports of asthma/wheezing following LAIV4 in children. Data mining detected disproportional reporting for vaccine administration errors and for influenza illness in children.
Our analysis of VAERS reports for LAIV4 did not identify any concerning patterns. The data mining finding for reports of influenza illness is consistent with low LAIV4 vaccine effectiveness observed for influenza A disease in children in 2013-2014. Reports of LAIV4 administration to persons in whom the vaccine is not recommended (e.g., pregnant women) indicate the need for education, training and screening regarding indications.