For years parents have opted for the flu mist nasal spray as an alternative for the injected flu vaccine, but a new report from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says the spray is ineffective. The CDC says the nasal spray was only 3% effective in kids ages 2-17, so not the CDC is voting to discontinue use of it this flu season.
Dr. Terry Dixon from MUSC’s Pediatric Infectious Disease Department, says, “It’s the third season that the flu mist vaccine, which is the nasal spray version of the flu vaccine, it hasn’t provided much protection against the influenza virus.”
The flu mist accounted for 1/3 of the flu vaccines given to children.
One mother, Glenda Kiser, says, “I think the mist was the way to go for younger children, but unfortunately it doesn’t seem like it worked that well.”
Doctors say even though convincing your kids may be a little harder with out the needle-free version, the vaccine still has a 63% success rate in preventing the flu and can help minimize symptoms.
Dr. Dixon says, “Among the people who still got flu, it still prevented them from being hospitalized and serious repercussions from the flu.”
One snag in discontinuing the nasal spray is many doctors have already placed orders for the vaccines for this flu season. The CDC says this could create a problem with supply, but they are working with physicians to make sure they have enough to go around.