CDC: Flu Vaccine Spray Better Than Shots for Young Children
(HealthDay News) — Flu vaccination via spray is more effective for young children than injection, a U.S. government panel ruled Wednesday.
The new recommendation, voted on during a meeting of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, only applies to children aged 2–8, according to the Associated Press.
Currently, the only flu vaccine spray on the market is AstraZeneca's FluMist, and it is approved for people aged 2–49. Children within that age group are about half as likely to get the flu if they get the nasal spray vaccine instead of a shot, research has shown, the AP reported.
Although federal health officials usually adopt the recommendations of the committee, the nation's largest pediatrician's group objected to the new recommendation, the AP reported. FluMist is more expensive, it can't be used for everyone and doctors have already ordered their vaccine doses for the fall flu season, a representative of the American Academy of Pediatrics said during the meeting. FluMist costs about $23; shots range from about $8–22.