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.
How Can I Learn More
- Ask your health care provider.
- Visit the website of the Food and Drug Administration for vaccine package inserts and additional information at www.fda.gov/vaccines-blood-biologics/vaccines.
- Contact the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention :
- Call 1-800-232-4636 or
- Visit CDC’s website at www.cdc.gov/flu.
Vaccine Information Statement
Flumist Vs A Flu Shot
Every child should have an annual flu shot to keep them safe during flu season. However, despite the fact that flu vaccination helps kids avoid getting sick, not all eligible kids get a flu vaccine.
One reason is vaccine hesitancy, which is often rooted in misconceptions about the importance or safety of this immunization for children. Another is that most kids don’t like to get a flu shotor any shot, which can make for an unpleasant doctor visit.
Of course, the health of your child is worth them enduring a flu shot. However, a shot is not the only way to get vaccinated against the flu. The FluMist nasal spray flu vaccine is another effective option, providing protection without any ouch.
Both the traditional flu shot and FluMist offer robust protection against getting sick and spreading the flu to loved onesand the larger community. Here’s what you need to know about the flu shot and FluMist to help you decide which one is best for your child.
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Can Nasal Spray Flu Vaccine Give Me Flu
Flu vaccines do not cause flu illness. The nasal spray flu vaccine contains weakened viruses, so that they will not cause flu illness. The weakened viruses are cold-adapted, which means they are designed to only multiply at the cooler temperatures found within the nose, and not the lungs or other areas where warmer temperatures exist.
Talk With Your Health Care Provider
Tell your vaccination provider if the person getting the vaccine:
- Is younger than 2 years or older than 49 years of age
- Is pregnant. Live, attenuated influenza vaccine is not recommended for pregnant people
- Has had an allergic reaction after a previous dose of influenza vaccine, or has any severe, life-threatening allergies
- Is a child or adolescent 2 through 17 years of age who is receiving aspirin or aspirin- or salicylate-containing products
- Has a weakened immune system
- Is a child 2 through 4 years old who has asthma or a history of wheezing in the past 12 months
- Is 5 years or older and has asthma
- Has taken influenza antiviral medication in the last 3 weeks
- Cares for severely immunocompromised people who require a protected environment
- Has other underlying medical conditions that can put people at higher risk of serious flu complications
- Does not have a spleen, or has a non-functioning spleen
- Has a cochlear implant
- Has a cerebrospinal fluid leak
- Has had Guillain-Barré Syndrome within 6 weeks after a previous dose of influenza vaccine
In some cases, your health care provider may decide to postpone influenza vaccination until a future visit.
For some patients, a different type of influenza vaccine might be more appropriate than live, attenuated influenza vaccine.
People with minor illnesses, such as a cold, may be vaccinated. People who are moderately or severely ill should usually wait until they recover before getting influenza vaccine.
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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.
Side Effects Of The Children’s Flu Vaccine
The nasal spray flu vaccine for children is very safe. Most side effects are mild and do not last long, such as:
- a runny or blocked nose
- a headache
If your child has the injected flu vaccine, side effects include:
- a sore arm where the injection was given
- a slightly raised temperature
These side effects usually last for a day or 2.
It’s rare for anyone to have a serious allergic reaction to the flu vaccine. If they do, it usually happens within minutes.
The person who vaccinates you or your child will be trained to deal with allergic reactions and treat them immediately.
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Who Is Eligible And How To Get The Vaccine
The UK is gradually introducing annual flu vaccination for all children. There are some differences between the programmes in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Eligibility for the flu vaccine can change from year to year, so it is important to check your eligibility each flu season.
In the 2022-23 season, the nasal flu spray will be available for free to the following groups in England:
- All children aged 2 or 3 on 31st August 2022
- All children in Primary school
- Secondary school children in years 7, 8 and 9 – any remaining vaccine will be offered to children in years 10 and 11, subject to vaccine availability
- Children and young people aged 2 to 17 who are ‘at risk’ of developing complications from flu, such as those with long-term health conditions including:
- Respiratory diseases, including asthma
- Heart disease, kidney disease or liver disease
- Neurological conditions including learning disability
- A severely weakened immune system , a missing spleen, sickle cell anaemia or coeliac disease
- Being seriously overweight
Note that the eligibility criteria for the 2022/23 season are different to those in the 2021/22 season, so some people who were eligible for the flu vaccine last year may not be eligible this year.
If a child has missed the flu vaccine in school, they can also receive the vaccine from their GP surgery.
Your doctor may recommend the flu vaccine in other circumstances as well.
Risks Of A Vaccine Reaction
- Runny nose or nasal congestion, wheezing, and headache can happen after LAIV vaccination.
- Vomiting, muscle aches, fever, sore throat, and cough are other possible side effects.
If these problems occur, they usually begin soon after vaccination and are mild and short-lived.
As with any medicine, there is a very remote chance of a vaccine causing a severe allergic reaction, other serious injury, or death.
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Live Attenuated Influenza Vaccine
Live attenuated influenza vaccine is a type of influenza vaccine in the form of a nasal spray that is recommended for the prevention of influenza.
It is an attenuated vaccine, unlike most influenza vaccines, which are inactivated vaccines. LAIV is administered intranasally, while inactivated vaccines are administered by intramuscular injection. LAIV is sold under the brand name FluMist Quadrivalent in the United States and the brand name Fluenz Tetra in the European Union. FluMist was first introduced in 2003 by MedImmune.
How Long Do Side Effects From Flumist Last
It wasnt reported in clinical trials how long side effects from FluMist last. However, most side effects were reported within 10 to 14 days after FluMist vaccination.
If you receive FluMist and experience side effects that seem to last and dont improve, talk with your doctor. They can see if another condition may be causing your symptoms.
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Study: Flu Nasal Spray Vs Flu Shot Again
Contributor: McMaster University
A recent study opens up the debate about whether flu nasal sprays provide similar protection against influenza as standard flu shots and contradict previous recommendations from the CDCs ACIP.
A study led by McMaster University researchers has found that, contrary to recent reports, flu nasal sprays provide similar protection against influenza as standard flu shots.
Published in the scientific journal Annals of Internal Medicine, the study shows that the nose spray had a similar effect to the standard flu shot. Previous recommendations from the Centers for Disease Controls Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices had previously called for nasal sprays, or live attenuated influenza vaccine , not be used during the 2016-2017 flu season.
Dr. Mark Loeb, lead author of the study, says his teams findings challenge the ACIPs recommendations towards flu shots, or inactivated vaccines.
Our study is the first blinded randomized controlled trial to compare the direct and indirect effect of the live vaccine versus the inactivated vaccine, said Loeb, a professor in McMasters Department of Pathology and Molecular Medicine.
For the study, Loebs team conducted a three-year trial in a Hutterite colony, where people live communally and are relatively isolated from cities and towns, to determine whether vaccinating children and adolescents with the flu nasal spray provided better direct and community protection than the standard flu shot.
Why The Flu Vaccine Is Important
The flu vaccine has been proven to reduce the risk of death, hospitalization, health complications, and illness from the flu. Those that get vaccinated but still contract the flu are likely to have less severe symptoms. Vaccination results in fewer school days missed and limits the spread of the illness among family members.
Most kids who get the flu don’t get seriously ill, but some do. Even some otherwise healthy children can have serious complications from flu. And every year, some children die from the flu.
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Does Flumist Protect Me From Covid
No, FluMist doesnt protect against COVID-19. No flu vaccine will protect against COVID-19 because influenza viruses are different from the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.
However, its still important to be vaccinated against the flu. This is because its possible to become infected with both the flu and COVID-19. Having both infections can increase your risk for serious effects such as trouble breathing and, in some cases, death.
Also, when you have an infection, such as the flu, your immune system tries to fight the infection. As a result, it may be harder for your immune system to fight off additional illnesses such as COVID-19.
So, although FluMist wont protect you from COVID-19, it should still protect you from the flu. And this could leave your body better prepared to fight off COVID-19 or other illnesses.
If you have questions about FluMist or COVID-19, talk with your doctor.
How Effective Is The Nasal Flu Vaccine
The effectiveness of any flu vaccine varies from year to year, but the nasal flu vaccine is considered comparable to the flu shot, Dr. Adalja says.
There have been questions of the efficacy of the nasal flu vaccine for certain influenza types such as H1N1 in the past, but thats been addressed, says Thomas Russo, M.D., professor and chief of infectious disease at the University at Buffalo in New York.
The CDCs Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices does not show a preference for any type of flu vaccine over another this year, provided you meet the right qualifications.
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Flu Shot Vs Nasal Spray: Which Vaccine Is Better This Year
The messaging couldnt be more clear: Everyone who is over the age of 6 months and able should get the flu vaccine this year. But while the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other public health officials have stressed the importance of getting vaccinated against the flu this fall, there hasnt been a lot of discussion about which kind to get.
There are several types of flu vaccines, but they can generally be grouped into two categories: the shot and the nasal spray. Each is slightly different, and its understandable to have questions about which is right for you. Heres what you need to know.
What is the difference between the flu shot and the nasal spray vaccine?
There are actually several. At a very basic level, the flu shot is given with a needle in your arm while the nasal spray vaccine is misted into your nose. But the differences dont end there.
The flu shot uses an inactivated version of the flu to stimulate your immune system, while the nasal spray vaccine uses an attenuated live virus, the CDC explains. While both vaccines may cause flu-like side effects, neither vaccine can actually give you the flu, Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease specialist and professor at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, tells Yahoo Life.
There are different forms of the flu shot, but many people under the age of 65 will receive the quadrivalent flu shot. Thats designed to protect against the following strains, per the CDC:
Who Should Be Vaccinated Against The Flu
The Centre for Disease Control and National Advisory Committee on Immunization recommend that everyone 6 months and older get immunized against the flu, unless there is a medical reason not to. Why risk getting sick if you dont have to?
Those most encouraged to get the vaccine include:
- Children age 6 months and up
- Adults 50 years and older
- Children on Aspirin therapy, who are at higher risk of Reyes syndrome if they catch the flu
- People with lung, heart, liver, and blood diseases, and those with diabetes
- Kids and adults with weakened immune systems
- People who work with those at risk
- Caregivers to young children
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Flumist Generic Or Biosimilar
FluMist is available only as a brand-name medication. Its not currently available in biosimilar form.
A biosimilar is like a generic. A generic is an exact copy of the active drug in a brand-name medication thats made from chemicals.
A biosimilar, on the other hand, is a drug thats similar to a brand-name biologic drug. Biologics are drugs made using living cells. Because of this, the drugs cant be copied exactly.
Biosimilars have the same safety and effectiveness as the brand-name medication. Usually, a biosimilar drug costs less than the brand-name biologic.
Heres some information on how FluMist compares with a flu shot.
I Have Asthma Can I Still Get Flumist
It depends. If you have asthma, you may be at a higher risk for developing wheezing when you receive the FluMist vaccine. Children younger than age 5 years who have wheezing that keeps returning may also be at risk for wheezing with FluMist.
If either of these situations apply, the doctor may monitor you or your child for a longer time than usual after a dose of FluMist. This allows them to treat any wheezing that occurs. In some cases, the doctor may recommend that you or your child have a flu shot instead. Talk with your doctor about the best flu vaccine for you or your child.
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Who Is The Nasal Flu Vaccine Good For
The nasal flu vaccine is approved for use in healthy people who arent pregnant and are between the ages of two and 49, per the CDC. But there is a laundry list of health conditions that can keep you from being eligible for this flu vaccine .
Its sort of a niche vaccine, given that there are so many contraindications, Dr. Russo says. But it can be helpful for people who have a needle phobia.
While adults can get the nasal flu vaccine, most tend to opt for the shot. Generally, the nasal flu vaccine is more often given to kids, says Richard Watkins, M.D., an infectious disease physician and professor of internal medicine at the Northeast Ohio Medical University.
How Does Flumist Work
The nasal spray vaccine starts working where the flu typically starts, which is in the nose, explains Ambrose. To provide flu protection, it works in your nose, cells and bloodstream, he says. Similar to other live vaccines , FluMist Quadrivalent contains a weakened live virus. It will not cause the flu, but it does trigger your immune system to build antibodies throughout the body to help fight against the flu virus, Ambrose explains.
Need to get your flu vaccine? Heres how to find a clinic near you.
Also, if you want to go for the bonus round in your flu-shielding efforts this year, in addition to getting a flu shot, weve rounded up some tips on how doctors and nurses stay healthy during flu season.
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