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Pediatricians Give Thumbs-Down to FluMist Flu Vaccine
September 7, 2016
Pediatricians gave a final thumbs-down Tuesday to the only needle-free flu vaccine on the market, saying they do not recommend the FluMist vaccine for kids this year.
It’s a symbolic rejection: Vaccine advisers to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have already recommended against FluMist nasal spray vaccine for this season, saying it has barely protected against influenza for the past few years. Distribution companies are not even offering it to pharmacies or clinics and clinics have not been ordering it.
But it’s a blow to parents of kids who hate needles — which is to say parents of most children.
Instead, kids are going to have to get flu shots.
“New research shows that the flu shot provided significantly better protection in recent flu seasons compared with the nasal spray vaccine,” said Dr. Henry Bernstein of Cohen’s Children’s Medical Center in New Hyde Park, New York. He is one of the doctors who wrote a statement on the flu vaccines published by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).
“Families want their children and themselves to be protected against influenza. Not having the option of receiving a flu vaccine intranasally or [via] a nasal spray is disappointing to some but I think that people recognize that flu vaccine is the best preventative measure that we have to protect everyone against influenza,” Bernstein told NBC News.