Getting a flu vaccine for your child may be a little more painful this year.
A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Advisory Committee is recommending against any use of the nasal spray flu vaccine for the upcoming flu season.
“When the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices looked at how effective it’s been over the last 3 years, and especially over the last year, it certainly seems that it’s not nearly as effective as the injectable forms of the influenza vaccine,” said Camille Sabella, M.D., Director for the Center of Pediatric Infectious Diseases at Cleveland Clinic Children’s.
Little protection from flu
The CDC’s panel of immunization experts based their recommendation on data that shows the nasal spray flu vaccine provided poor or low protection against the flu from 2013-2016.
They say this past year the spray vaccine only had 3% effectiveness – which basically means no protective benefit.
Experts aren’t sure why the nasal spray vaccine has performed poorly as of late.
The nasal spray vaccine contains live, weakened flu viruses and is currently the only non-injection flu vaccine on the market.
Shot offers best protection
Dr. Sabella was not part of the CDC’s Advisory Committee and says this year the flu shot will be the best way to protect your child from the flu.
The flu can be dangerous and causes thousands of deaths each year, so it’s important your child is vaccinated.
“Children, especially young children, transmit viruses very easily to each other and to adults, so whenever we can protect a child against influenza we’re not only protecting that particular child against the complications of flu but we’re also protecting the folks around them,” said Dr. Sabella.
The advisory panel’s recommendation on nasal spray flu vaccine must be approved by the CDC’s director before it becomes CDC policy.