Mighty Blog

Infection prevention experts recommend no FluMist nasal spray, only flu shot

FluMist nasal spray vaccination
Infection prevention experts recommend all people get flu shot instead of the FluMist nasal spray influenza vaccine during the 2016-17 season. (Photo from Today.com)

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practice (ACIP) recommends that the FluMist nasal spray influenza vaccine not be used next flu season. Studies showed that for the past three flu seasons FluMist failed to provide the same level of protection as a flu shot.

The CDC, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) as well as the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) agree and advised FluMist not be used.

Influenza is a serious disease; it’s not “stomach flu” or the “24-hour flu.” It’s an infection that can cause potentially severe respiratory illness and possibly death. For example, when the vaccine does not offer full protection, such as occurred during the 2014-15 season, a large number of Minnesota residents suffered influenza illnesses, and the state had 10 pediatric deaths.

Not covered by insurance

The recommendation from the CDC means that insurance companies will not cover the cost of the intranasal vaccine and Vaccine for Children (VFC) programs will not provide FluMist as an option beginning later this summer and fall.

Children’s committed to minimizing pain and discomfort

Children’s Minnesota is committed to doing what is best for our patients and families. Our Comfort Promise provides several options, including topical numbing cream, positioning and distractions, to help minimize pain and discomfort during vaccinations.

Preventative action

Vaccination is the best tool we have to reduce the incidence of the disease and to minimize the severity of influenza.

While it may not keep you or your child from suffering flu symptoms, it has been proven to keep kids out of the hospital. According to a 2014 CDC study, getting flu vaccine reduces a child’s risk for admission to the intensive care unit by 74 percent.

Children’s is committed to being every family’s essential partner in raising healthier children. Flu vaccination is an important part of keeping our community healthy, and we will make every effort to minimize the discomfort associated with immunization.


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