The flu vaccine nasal spray, or FluMist®, should not be used for the 2016-2017 flu season, according to the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) in a recent announcement.
The change was made as new research shows the ineffectiveness of FluMist in preventing flu symptoms and illness compared with a traditional flu shot. The ACIP continues to recommend the flu shot for everyone 6 months and older to protect against flu.
Flu Vaccines at The Polyclinic
The Polyclinic will follow the ACIP’s recommendation and will not offer the flu nasal spray vaccine to patients this flu season. “Although FluMist previously had been shown to be an effective way to prevent influenza, annual monitoring of effectiveness by the CDC revealed that in the past season, the FluMist offered almost no protection (3%) compared to the 63% effectiveness of the flu shot,” said Dr. Sherri Zorn, pediatrician at The Polyclinic. “Although kids might complain about getting a shot this flu season, it’s a small price to pay for preventing influenza! We encourage parents to convey this message confidently to their children.”
Protecting Yourself from Flu
Influenza is a respiratory illness that may cause fever/chills, cough, sore throat, body aches, fatigue and can result in serious complications and hospital stays, especially for young children, older adults, pregnant women, and those with existing health conditions. Getting a flu shot is still the best way to protect yourself from the flu.