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Flu Kid

Nasal Spray Flu Vaccine Not Recommended This Flu Season

Posted on August 19, 2016

As much as we don’t want to admit it, the flu season is right around the corner! That means it’s almost time to get vaccinated again! Flu season generally starts around October, will peak around February and can last into March. Those with young children know of the convenient nasal spray flu vaccine, FluMist, that was first available September 2003 and a big help for needle-phobic children. The FluMist vaccine is approved for ages 2 to 49 and contains a live virus that has been weakened and helps by stimulating the immune system.

However, on June 22, 2016, new data from the CDC showed this nasal vaccine to be only 3% effective in kids and teens last flu season compared to about 63% with the injectable flu shot. Therefore, for this upcoming season, they are recommending against the use of the FluMist nasal spray.

What are your options for this season?

  • Traditional standard-dose flu shot: available for ages 6 months to 65+ years old
  • Fluzone – standard dose quadrivalent flu shot: available for 6 months and older
  • Fluzone – high dose flu shot: available for ages 65 and older
  • Flublok shot: for ages 18 and older with allergies to eggs

Other tips going into the flu season:

  • Clean your hands! Soap and water are best to protect yourself from germs. If they’re not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth, especially when in public. These are common ways germs are spread.
  • Get plenty of sleep! For ages 18 to 64 the recommended sleep range is 7-9 hours, and 7-8 hours for 65 years and older. Lack of sleep has been linked with a poorly working immune system and that can make you more likely to get sick.
  • Be active! We know exercise is good for us, but did you know it can also keep your immune system healthy? It does not have to be intense exercise; daily 20-30 minute walks can help boost your immune function!
  • Drink plenty of water! Your body needs water to function, that includes your immune system! Stick to the “liter-by-lunch” rule (drink 1 liter (about 4 cups) of water by lunch time).
  • Manage stress. Stressful situations can put a lot of wear and tear on our bodies. It’s important to find ways to relieve some stress such as exercise, yoga, meditation, or finding some time to do something you enjoy!

Don’t forget to stop by your local Fagen Pharmacy to get your flu shot! 

References:

  1. Types of influenza vaccines. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/flu/faq/flu-vaccine-types.htm. Accessed August 3, 2016.
  2. ACIP votes down use of LAIV for 2016-2017 flu season. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2016/s0622-laiv-flu.html. Accessed August 3, 2016.
  3. National Sleep Foundation Recommends New Sleep Times. National Sleep Foundation. Available at: https://sleepfoundation.org/media-center/press-release/national-sleep-foundation-recommends-new-sleep-times. Accessed August 3, 2016.

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