Who Should Have The Nasal Spray Flu Vaccine
The nasal spray flu vaccine is free on the NHS for:
- children aged 2 or 3 years on 31 August 2021 born between 1 September 2017 and 31 August 2019
- all primary school children
- all year 7 to year 11 children in secondary school
- children aged 2 to 17 years with long-term health conditions
If your child is aged between 6 months and 2 years and has a long-term health condition that makes them at higher risk from flu, they’ll be offered a flu vaccine injection instead of the nasal spray.
This is because the nasal spray is not licensed for children under 2 years.
The nasal spray vaccine offers the best protection for children aged 2 to 17 years. They will be offered the flu vaccine injection if the nasal spray vaccine is not suitable for them.
Some children will be offered the injected flu vaccine if they have:
- a severely weakened immune system
- asthma that’s being treated with steroid tablets or that has needed intensive care in hospital
- a flare-up of asthma symptoms and need to use a reliever inhaler more than usual
- had an allergic reaction to a flu vaccine in the past
- a condition that needs salicylate treatment
If you’re not sure, check with the school immunisation team, the nurse or GP at your surgery, or a hospital specialist.
The injected flu vaccine is given as a single injection into the muscle of the upper arm, or the thigh for children under 1 year.
Im Pregnant Is It Safe To Get The Flu Shot
Yes, the flu shot is safe. Those who are pregnant should be immunized. Infants born during flu season to mothers who got a flu shot are usually protected against the flu for a few months. The flu shot is also safe and highly recommended for those breastfeeding. Since infants less than 6 months of age cannot get the flu shot , antibodies against the flu are transferred through breast milk.
How Much Does Flumist Cost
FluMist is fully covered by most commercial and government-funded insurance plans, including Medicare. This means that you wont need to pay a copay or co-insurance to get the vaccine.
If you are paying in cash for FluMist, GoodRx can help you save. The lowest price for FluMist on GoodRx is currently about $30.
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How It Is Administered
- Administered by a healthcare professional
- 1 spray in each nostril
- You don’t need to sniff. You can breathe normally while you get FLUMIST QUADRIVALENT
- It’s okay if you sneeze, blow your nose, feel dripping down your nose or throat, or swallow after receiving FLUMIST QUADRIVALENT. You still get enough FLUMIST QUADRIVALENT to help protect you against the flu
Which Drugs Or Supplements Interact With Influenza Nasal Vaccine
Children 5 to 17 years of age who are receiving aspirin therapy should not be given FluMist because of the association between aspirin, influenza infection, and Reye’s syndrome, a serious disease of the liver.
Use of FluMist together with antiviral drugs that are active against the influenza virus has not been evaluated. Since there is a potential for antiviral drugs to reduce the effectiveness of FluMist , antiviral drugs should not be administered until 2 weeks after FluMist therapy, and FluMist should not be administered until 48 hours after antiviral therapy is discontinued.
Administering FluMist with inactivated virus vaccines was not evaluated in FluMist clinical trials, and combining FluMist with other intranasal products has not been evaluated. FluMist did not interfere with, and was not affected by measles, mumps, rubella, or varicella live vaccines.
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Can Flumist Spread Or Cause The Flu Through Shedding
Shedding is very common with the FluMist vaccine. However, its very unlikely that this shedding will spread or cause the flu.
Shedding occurs when a virus in your body replicates and is then released to the environment around you. For example, when you receive the FluMist nasal spray, the flu viruses will replicate in your nose. Then if you sneeze, you could spread the flu viruses.
In a looked at viral shedding in younger children, ages 6 to 59 months .* In this study, shedding occurred in:
- 79% of children in the study
- 89% of children ages 6 months through 23 months old
- 69% of children ages 24 months through 69 months old
Another study looked at whether people actually catch the flu when others shed the virus after getting FluMist. Children ages 8 to 36 months received FluMist or a placebo .
The researchers found that 80% of children who received FluMist shed the virus. However, the researchers found only one instance of a flu strain in a child who received a placebo. Based on these numbers, they estimated that the transmission rate of the virus from those who received FluMist vaccine was about 0.58%.
These study results indicate that its unlikely that you would become infected with the flu from someone else who received the FluMist vaccine.
If you have questions about shedding or spreading flu viruses after receiving FluMist, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.
* The Food and Drug Administration has approved FluMist for use in children and adults ages 2 to 49 years.
Was Flumist Discontinued At Some Point
Yes, FluMist wasnt available during the 20162018 flu seasons. The CDC recommended against using FluMist at that time because studies showed that the vaccine was only about 3% effective from 20132016.
However, in 2018, the manufacturer of FluMist changed the vaccine so that it would be more effective. With that change, the CDC began to recommend FluMist as an option for flu vaccination in 2019. However, there was a limited supply of the vaccine available during the 20192020 flu season due to a manufacturing shortage.
FluMist is currently approved for the 20202021 flu season for use in children and adults ages 2 to 49 years. If you have questions about whether FluMist is right for you, talk with your doctor. You can also refer to CDC recommendations in the How FluMist is given section above.
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When To Get Vaccinated
Its a good idea to get the flu shot at the beginning of the flu season, usually September or October in the U.S.
If you arent able to get vaccinated by the end of October, dont skip it flu season typically peaks in February.
The CDC recommends early vaccination for children as well as for people in the third trimester of pregnancy. Adults, especially those aged 65 and older, should avoid early vaccination because protection from the vaccine wanes over time.
Why Do We Need The Flu Vaccine Every Year
Children need one dose of the vaccine every year. The exception is children who are in a clinical risk group, have not had a flu vaccine before and are under 9 years of age. These children need two doses of vaccine at least 4 weeks apart. Bristol Children’s Vaccine Centre has a short video showing how the nasal flu vaccine is given.
Flu vaccines have an excellent safety record. They are the best protection we have against an unpredictable virus which can cause severe illness and deaths each year among at-risk groups. It is important to have a flu vaccine every year because the flu virus is very variable and changes over time. Each year there are different strains around, and a new vaccine has to be prepared to deal with them. Vaccination from previous years is not likely to protect people against current strains of flu.
Each years flu vaccine is made to give the best protection against the strains of flu that are expected to circulate in the coming season. The inactivated trivalent vaccine protects against three of the flu virus strains and the inactivated quadrivalent vaccine protects against four of the flu strains which are most likely to be around. The nasal flu vaccine is a quadrivalent vaccine, which protects against four flu virus strains.
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Safety And Side Effects
Side effects associated with the vaccine are:
- runny or stuffy nose
- high temperature
- nose bleeds
- allergic reactions
Additional information about vaccine side effects, anaphylaxis and adverse reactions can be found here.
There is no evidence that healthy unvaccinated people can catch flu from the nasal flu spray .
It is known that vaccinated children shed the virus for a few days after vaccination . However, the vaccine virus is weakened, and so it is much less able to spread from person to person than flu viruses that circulate during the flu season, and it cannot grow inside the body. The amount of virus that children shed is normally below the levels needed to pass on infection to others. The virus does not survive for long outside the body.
It is therefore not necessary for children to be excluded from school during the period when the vaccine is being given. The only exception is the very small number of children who are extremely immunocompromised . These children are usually advised not to attend school anyway, because of the higher risk of being in contact with infections that circulate in schools.
The nasal flu spray should not be given to anyone who is severely immunodeficient due to a medical condition or treatment with an immunosuppressive therapy such as:
This is because the weakened viruses in the vaccine could replicate too much and cause infection.
Is The Nasal Spray As Effective As The Shot
The short answer: Yes, its expected to be, according to the CDC, which isnt placing preference on any single vaccine.
Flu season runs from October until May, peaking in January and February. Right now, its early in the flu season and health professionals have just started tracking flu cases and the types of strains that are most common, Illuzzi explains.
The CDC and local departments of health keep track of this information and report it back to clinicians on a weekly basis, he says. The preliminary results seem promising that this years flu vaccines appear to be a good match.
The monitoring is done by the CDCS U.S. Flu Vaccine Effectiveness Network, and similar studies are conducted in the United Kingdom, Canada and Finland, explains Dr. Chris Ambrose, franchise head with U.S. Medical Affairs, respiratory division at AstraZeneca, the maker of the FluMist Quadrivalent. The CDC provides vaccine estimates several times throughout the season, and typically early estimates are reported in February and the full season estimates come in June, Ambrose says.
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When Should I Get A Flu Shot
Flu is most common in the fall and winter. Its best to get your vaccine before the virus begins spreading. It takes about two weeks for the vaccine to offer full protection.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends getting your vaccine by the end of October. If you dont meet that date, you can and should get your vaccine as soon as possible.
What Is The Nasal Flu Vaccine Exactly
The nasal flu vaccine is a live attenuated vaccine, meaning it contains weakened flu viruses so they wont make you sick, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention explains. Those weakened viruses are specially designed to only multiply at the cooler temperatures found in your nose and not in your lungs or other areas in your body that are warmer.
Just like the regular flu vaccine, the nasal flu vaccine targets certain strains of influenza that researchers predict will circulate the most during that given year.
This years nasal flu vaccine is a quadrivalent vaccine, meaning it targets four strains of the flu, the CDC says. The 2021-2022 nasal flu vaccine will target the following strains, according to the Food and Drug Administration and CDC:
- an A/Victoria/2570/2019 pdm09-like virus
- an A/Cambodia/e0826360/2020 -like virus
- a B/Washington/02/2019- like virus
- a B/Phuket/3073/2013-like virus
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The Nasal Flu Vaccine
You get this flu vaccine sprayed into your nose. It’s made from live virus that’s weak and can’t cause the flu. Still, you may have flu-like symptoms.
Side effects: They’re usually minor, although they can be more severe than the side effects of the flu shot. Adults can get a runny nose, headache, sore throat, or cough. In children, side effects also include wheezing, vomiting, fever, and muscle aches.
The nasal flu vaccine can be taken by people between ages 2 and 49 who are in good health and not pregnant. The spray is not recommended for:
- Children younger than age 2
- Adults 50 years and older
- Pregnant women
- People with a history of severe allergic reaction to any component of the vaccine or to a previous dose of any influenza vaccine
- Children ages 2 to 17 who take aspirin or salicylate-containing medications
- People with weakened immune systems
- Children ages 2 to 4 who have asthma or wheezing in the past 12 months
- People ages 5 and older who have asthma
- People who have a medical condition such as lung, heart, kidney, liver, neurologic, or metabolic disorders
- People who have a moderate to severe illness with or without fever
- People who had Guillain-Barre syndrome within six weeks of a previous dose of the flu vaccine
- People who have taken influenza antiviral drugs within the previous 48 hours
- People who care for severely immunocompromised persons who require a protected environment
Pros: The nasal spray is easy to take. Children might prefer it to getting a shot.
Studies In Children And Adolescents
Study MI-CP111: Pediatric Comparative Study
A multinational, randomized, double-blind, active-controlled trial was performed to assess the efficacy and safety of Flumist compared to an injectable influenza vaccine made by Sanofi Pasteur Inc. in children < 5 years of age, using the refrigerated formulation. During the 2004-2005 influenza season, a total number of 3916 children < 5 years of age and without severe asthma, without use of bronchodilator or steroids and without wheezing within the prior 6 weeks were randomized to Flumist and 3936 were randomized to active control. Participants were then followed through the influenza season to identify illness caused by influenza virus. As the primary endpoint, culture-confirmed modified CDC-ILI was defined as a positive culture for a wild-type influenza virus associated within ±7 days of modified CDC-ILI. Modified CDC-ILI was defined as fever plus cough, sore throat, or runny nose/nasal congestion on the same or consecutive days.
In the primary efficacy analysis, Flumist demonstrated a 44.5% reduction in influenza rate compared to active control as measured by culture-confirmed modified CDC-ILI caused by wild-type strains antigenically similar to those contained in the vaccine. See Table 3 for a description of the results by strain and antigenic similarity.
Study D153-P501: Pediatric Study
Study AV006: Pediatric Study
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What Are The Side Effects That Could Occur With The Nasal Spray Flu Vaccine
In children, side effects from the nasal spray may include:
- Runny nose
- Sore throat
In adults, side effects from the nasal spray vaccine may include:
- Runny nose
If these problems occur, they begin soon after vaccination and usually are mild and short-lived. People sometimes faint after medical procedures, including vaccination. Tell your provider if you feel dizzy or have vision changes or ringing in the ears. Rarely, people can experience a severe allergic reaction after a flu vaccine there are about 1-2 cases of severe allergic reactions per million flu vaccine doses administered and these reactions can be treated with medication. People who think that they have been injured by a flu vaccine can file a claim with the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program external icon.
More information about the safety of flu vaccines is available at Influenza Vaccine Safety.
What Is Influenza Nasal Vaccine And How Does It Work
FluMist is a nasal vaccine that protects against infection with the influenza virus or the “flu.” FluMist contains live influenza virus that has been weakened so that it causes minimal or no symptoms. When FluMist is inhaled, the body responds to the weakened viruses in FluMist by developing antibodies that fight influenza viruses. These antibodies protect against later infections by the naturally-occurring influenza virus.
FluMist is effective only against the strains of influenza virus that are included in it, and the strains of virus change from year to year. FluMist has no effect on the flu once infection has begun. FluMist should be given shortly before the flu season begins to allow time for antibodies to be produced and for protection throughout the entire flu season.
FluMist and FluMist Quadrivalent are similar except for the addition of one additional virus strain to Flumist Quadrivalent. FluMist is a trivalent vaccine because it has three flu virus strains and FluMist Quadrivalent has four virus strains .
The FDA approved FluMist in June 2003 and FluMist Quadrivalent in February 2012.
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Who Should Not Get The Nasal Spray Flu Vaccine
Some people should not get the nasal spray flu vaccine:
- Children younger than 2 years old
- Adults 50 years and older
- People with a history of severe allergic reaction to any ingredient of the vaccine or to a previous dose of any flu vaccine
- Children 2 through 17 years old who are receiving aspirin- or salicylate-containing medications.
- Children 2 through 4 years old who have asthma or who have had a history of wheezing in the past 12 months
- People with weakened immune systems from any cause
- People who care for severely immunocompromised persons who require a protected environment
- People without a spleen, or with a non-functioning spleen
- Pregnant people
- People with an active leak between the cerebrospinal fluid and the mouth, nose, ear, or other place within the skull
- People with cochlear implants
- People who have taken flu antiviral drugs within a certain amount of time.
In addition, the following medical conditions are precautions to the use of the nasal spray flu vaccine:
- Asthma in people 5 years and older.
- Other underlying medical conditions that can put people at higher risk of serious flu complications. These include conditions such as lung disease, heart disease , kidney disease , kidney or liver disorders, neurologic/neuromuscular, or metabolic disorders. People at Higher Risk of Developing FluRelated Complications.
- Moderate or severe acute illness with or without fever.
- Guillain-Barré Syndrome within 6 weeks following a previous dose of flu vaccine.