Sep
21
2007

Breath deep: You might qualify for a nasal mist flu shot

This won't hurt, really: The FDA recently okayed even younger kids, those ages 2 to 4, to be eliglble for receiving their annual flu shot in a new nasal mist form.
This won't hurt, really: The FDA recently okayed even younger kids, those ages 2 to 4, to be eliglble for receiving their annual flu shot in a new nasal mist form.
If you’re young and squeamish about shots, there’s good news for you this year on the flu shot front.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has okayed the use of a flu shot nasal spray product – FluMist – for treating kids ages 2 to 4. The product has been on the market for a few years for people ages 5-49 who are in good health and not pregnant.

Obviously, this is pretty significant news since the biggest criers during the process of receiving a flu shot are between the ages of 2 to 4. In recent testing, those receiving the nasal flu shot had a 92-percent reduction in the rate of catching the flu than those who didn’t.

Furthermore, the nasal spray will work for people who have minor illnesses. But, obviously, those suffering conditions with nasal congestion might not get the full benefits of the nasal spray.

Here are the side effects to watch out for after application on children: runny nose, headache, wheezing, vomiting muscle aches and fever. For adults, the side effects include: runny nose, headache, sore throat and cough.

The calendar is quickly turning to the best time to get your flu shot as a nasal blast or a vaccine. October and November are the best times of the year. The Center for Disease Control suggests that children receiving a flu shot for the first time receive a nasal application in October. They’ll also need a second dose one month later.

If you’ve had flu shots in the past, it’s okay to receive your flu dosage this year nasally if you meet other qualifying criteria.

Of course, most people don’t bother to be vaccinated against the flu most years. The Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports that a record amount of doses – 130 million – are available this year, but as past practices show, only a fraction of them will be used.

Only about one in five babies who should receive a flu shot get one, the report said, and nationwide last year, about 36,000 people died from health complications from getting the flu.

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