Does your child receive the flu vaccine? Some studies have found children in the age group ranging from 2-8 years old are half as likely to get the flu by receiving FluMist, a nasal spray approved in 2003, in place of the flu shot.
What is the difference between FluMist and the Recommended Vaccination?
AstraZeneca’s FluMist is the only spray vaccine on the market and is approved for healthy people ages 2 to 49.
FluMist, unlike flu shots which are made from a killed virus, is made from a live but weakened flu virus.
Experts say the spray promotes better immune response in children who may have never been infected with the flu before, however there isn’t a clear difference in adults.
Dr. Michael Brady of Ohio State University, said “We really feel you shouldn’t place doctors and families in a situation where if they don’t receive the live vaccine, they feel they’re getting an inferior product because it may not be an inferior product.”
To Spray or Not to Spray?
The nation’s largest pediatrician group objected to giving preference to the spray for kids. A representative of the American Academy of Pediatrics noted FluMist is more expensive and can’t be used for everyone.
Of the children getting the flu vaccine, 44 %percent receive FluMist according to AstraZeneca. However, health officials say if doctors do not have FluMist in stock, flu shots are perfectly fine.
Despite concerns of the FluMist vaccine AstraZeneca decided to produce more for the upcoming flu season; 18 million up from 13 million last year.
Although FluMist costs about $23 and shots range from about $8 – $22, if FluMist is better for children parents should be allowed to go with that option.
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