Alert: Nasal sprays, FluMist out this yearBy
Nasal sprays used in the past to prevent the spread of influenza should not be an option for the 2016-17 flu season. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is only recommending the use of injectable influenza vaccines this year.
The category of injectable vaccines includes inactivated influenza vaccines and recombinant influenza vaccines. The nasal spray flu vaccine (live attenuated influenza vaccine or LAIV) should not be used during 2016-2017.
The nasal spray version of the flu vaccine was very popular with parents and pediatricians because many children are afraid of needles. This year, however, the nation’s leading pediatrics group is leaning to the side of caution.
In a policy statement recently released by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the group recommended children over six months old receive the flu shot rather than the FluMist vaccine, which federal health officials have recently discovered was not effective in preventing the flu during the past three seasons. About a third of children who are vaccinated against the flu each year receive FluMist.
Everyone 6 months and older should get a yearly flu vaccine by the end of October, if possible, but getting vaccinated later is OK. Vaccination should continue throughout the flu season, even in January or later. Some children who have received flu vaccine previously and children who have only received one dose in their lifetime, may need two doses of flu vaccine. A health care provider can advise on how many doses a child should get.
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