Mayo Clinic: Iíve always been told FluMist is just as
effective as the flu shot for kids, so why isnít the mist
available this year? Does that mean the shot is not likely to
be very effective either?
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends a yearly
flu vaccine for all children 6 months and older. Mayo Clinic
strongly endorses that recommendation. Depending on your childís
age and health, you typically can choose between a flu shot
and the nasal spray form of the flu vaccine. However, this
year, only the flu shot is recommended because the spray has
been relatively ineffective in recent flu seasons.
usually called the flu, is a viral infection that affects the
respiratory system. Itís not the same as what people often
refer to as "stomach flu," which causes diarrhea and
vomiting. Common symptoms of the flu include a fever higher
than 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit, muscle aches, headache, a
cough, a sore throat and fatigue.
often goes away on its own without any lasting problems. But,
sometimes, influenza can be life-threatening. People at higher
risk of developing serious complications from the flu include
children younger than 5 years old, adults older than 65,
pregnant women and people with weak immune systems.
youíre not in one of those categories, though, you still
need a flu shot. While the flu may not cause lasting problems
for you, you can spread it easily to others who may not fare
as well. The best defense against influenza is getting the flu
vaccine every year.
past, multiple studies showed that the nasal spray flu vaccine
worked as well as, and sometimes better than, the injectable
form of the vaccine. But newer research has found that, during
the last two flu seasons, the mist hasnít provided much, if
any, protection against the flu virus. In contrast, the flu
shot provided a high level of protection.
those findings, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend that, during
this flu season, children 6 months and older get the flu
vaccine by injection only.
child has a lot of anxiety about shots, ask your health care
provider if a spray coolant or a vibrating ice pack can be
applied to the skin to numb it before the vaccine is given.
That can make the injection less painful and may reduce the
fear associated with getting the vaccine as a shot.
your child the most protection from the flu, itís best to
get the flu vaccine as soon as it becomes available and before
disease outbreaks occur in your area. It takes up to two weeks
after vaccination for a person to be fully protected from the
child is younger than 9 years old and is getting the vaccine
for the first time, he or she needs two doses, given at least
four weeks apart. Children who needs two doses but only
receive one may have little or no protection from the flu. If
your child has had two or more total doses of the flu vaccine
during past seasons, then one dose is enough this season. Or
if your child is now 9 years old or older, one dose also is
enough. Yearly flu vaccines also are recommended for all
protect yourself, your children and the people around you most
effectively, get your flu vaccine as soon as it becomes
available to you.