No nasal flu vaccine again this year: FluMist not recommended for 2017

The Centers for Disease Control are advising people get their flu shot in October but recommending against the nasal flu vaccine. (Contributed photo/CDC)
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(AL.com) — Bad news for kids hoping to avoid the flu vaccine.

For the second consecutive year, the Centers for Disease Control is recommending against using a nasal flu vaccine. Last year's advisory meant most doctors and pharmacies didn't stock the vaccine, sold commercially as FluMist, a practice that's likely to occur again this year.

According to the CDC, FluMist - a vaccine sprayed into the nose and most commonly used on children - didn't provide adequate protection against influenza. Some studies put its effectiveness at only 3 percent compared to an effectiveness rate of more than 60 percent for the injected version.

Also, the CDC said last year's exclusion of FluMist didn't dramatically lower the number of children receiving the flu vaccine.

The American Academy of Pediatrics backs up the CDC recommendation but encourages all parents to get their children immunized - even though that means they must receive an injection.

"Getting a flu shot as soon as the vaccine is available in your community should be on every parent's checklist," said Flor Munoz, MD, FAAP. "We know that the flu should not be taken lightly. Everyone in the household, including pregnant women, grandparents, and child care providers, should be vaccinated to help prevent its spread."

The AAP recommends children receive flu vaccinations by the end of October. Children ages six months through eight years who have not been previously vaccinates will need two doses.

During the 2016-17 season, more than 100 U.S. children died of the flu, and thousands more were hospitalized for severe illness or complications from the virus. Historically, more than 80 percent of children who died of influenza were not vaccinated.

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