PHOENIX (Oct. 3, 2018) – Can a squirt up the nose fight flu just as effectively as a shot in the arm?
This year, people have a new alternative to flu vaccines to protect themselves during the upcoming influenza season: FluMist, a nasal vaccine spray.
In recommending the use of FluMist for this season, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said it would be a good alternative for certain patient groups.
“It can only be used in a smaller population: generally speaking, healthy individuals up to 49 years of age who don’t have other immune-compromised diseases. It can not be used for pregnant women,’’ said Joan Ivaska, senior director of Infection Prevention for Banner Health. In her role, Ivaska oversees flu-prevention efforts in six states.
B-roll available: Ivaska speaking about FluMist
Previously, the CDC had concerns about FluMist’s effectiveness and recommended that it not be used. FluMist contains weakened viruses; while, the flu vaccination short contains dead influenza virus strains.
National pediatric groups are still not convinced of FluMist’s flu-fighting abilities. The American Academy of Pediatric recommends children get the flu shot. If that is not possible for a particular, then parents may resort to using FluMist, the group says, saying that it is important to get some protection against the flu..
It is strongly recommended that everyone six months and older should be vaccinated against influenza, which was implicated in the deaths of 168 children so far during the most recent season.
Banner Health experts are available to speak about the flu, prevention and treatment.