Nasal Flu Vaccine Pricked By CDC, Officials Recommend Shot Instead

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – There was a major announcement from the Centers For Disease Control Thursday regarding the flu vaccine and children.

Many kids around the U.S. will have to feel the sting of the flu shot this fall.

A CDC advisory committee has voted that the nasal spray vaccine FluMist should not be used in the upcoming flu season.

“Two of the last three seasons it hasn’t worked at all. At least in our hands, we haven’t seen any of our data that indicates the vaccine has been effective,” said Dr. Joseph Bresee of the CDC. “On the other hand, the flu shot has been effective in usually 50 to 60 percent of the time.”

It’s estimated that about a third of children get the nasal spray vaccine each year. Earlier data found the nasal spray was actually more protective than shots for children. Health officials don’t know why spray isn’t as effective now.

Many hospitals and doctors have already placed their orders for flu vaccine. Experts say that may be a challenge this fall.

“Doctors have to call one or two places to make sure they get the vaccine they need but I think overall there won’t be any shortages,” Bresee said.

Estimates show the nasal spray accounts for less than 10 percent of the flu vaccine supply every year.

The makers of the nasal spray say the CDC’S effectiveness data contrasts with studies done by AstraZeneca as well as other findings. The company says it’s working with the CDC.

Federal health officials hope parents won’t be discouraged and continue having their children vaccinated. Reminding them that it’s better to get the flu shot than the flu itself.

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