Nasal Spray Influenza Vaccine Not Recommended for the Upcoming Flu Season, But You Still Need Your Flu Shot

This article has been reviewed by Thanai Pongdee, MD, FAAAAI, Website and Social Media Medical Editor

For several years, a nasal spray influenza vaccine has been available as an alternative to an injection for people 2 to 49 years of age. However, studies over the last three influenza seasons have demonstrated that the nasal spray vaccine provided little protection against the disease. Thus, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) has recommended that the nasal spray influenza vaccine not be used for the upcoming 2016-2017 influenza season.

Despite this change, it is important to note that the influenza vaccine injection continues to be very effective at preventing influenza, a disease that results in hundreds of thousands of hospitalizations and tens of thousands of deaths in the United States each year. The vaccine is recommended for everyone 6 months of age and older every year.  Don't let the news regarding the recent lack of effectiveness of the nasal spray vaccine keep you from getting your flu shot this fall.

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