The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recommended that individuals aged 6 months and older need to get vaccinated against the influenza virus every year as long as they’re medically capable of doing so. However, a slight difference in this year’s recommendation is that nasal vaccination should not be used as they haven’t been very effective.
According to the collected statistics, nasal vaccination hasn’t been able to prevent flu in individuals who took it. While the reason for such an occurrence is uncertain the results show that over the previous three flu seasons kids aged between 2 to 17 years were 2.5 times more vulnerable to the virus if they were vaccinated through nasal sprays (live attenuated virus) compared to kids who got flu shots (inactivated virus).
The current results have urged the American Academy of Pediatrics to recommend that FluMist should not be used in order to vaccinate people. Close to a third of U.S. kids were able to prevent being stung by a needle because nasal sprays were used to vaccinate them during the recent years. However, the study published in Pediatrics went on to reveal that FluMist wasn’t an effective protection against the flu.
Last year, close to 85 children died when they were infected by one of the two strains of the Influenza virus that happened to circulate throughout the season. There is a general misconception among people who think that kids already suffering from other illnesses such as heart problems, diabetes, asthma or cancer tend to die because of flu. However, last year’s reports showed that half of the kids that died due to flu weren’t suffering from such illnesses. That is why the American Academy of Pediatrics wants kids older than 6 months old to be vaccinated against flu. Grownups that take care of children or are around them most of the time should also be vaccinated as well.
Pregnant women are also recommended to get vaccinated as they are highly vulnerable to becoming severely ill if they get the flu. Pregnant women are also able to pass some level of protection against the virus to their unborn child.
Companies responsible for producing these vaccines are mixing two batches this year. Both batches make use of inactivated virus. They are available in shot form. These vaccinations are able to introduce pieces of three different flu viruses inside the body. One of these strains is from a virus that circulated in Hong Kong, the second is from California, and the third is from Brisbane, Australia.
Keep in mind that kids who are under 8 years old who got at least two doses of any flu vaccine, including FluMist, need only one shot of vaccine this year for proper protection. The reason behind this is that even though nasal sprays didn’t prove to be very effective they did introduce the immune system to the strain of flu that’ll be encountered this year. However, if kids under 8 years old haven’t received at least two doses of any flu vaccine, then they’ll have to get stung by the needle two times containing this year’s vaccination.