FluMist, a child-friendly nasal spray vaccine, has gained approval from the Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC) to be available for the 2018-2019 flu season.
It's back, says Robert Jacobson, a pediatrician at Mayo Clinic. "We have evidence that it works as well as its injected form and that it can be recommended again by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices and other groups that make recommendations for our country."
"This is great news," says Jacobson. "There are people out there - children, parents, young adults - who would prefer not getting the injection if they can get the nasal spray. And, while I think people have worked very hard to convince our patients to get the injected form, I know there are a lot of holdouts that are so glad this is back. This will support rapid vaccination in schools and in other practices where needles are not as welcome, and will help people who have fear or struggle with the idea of the flu vaccine."
The CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices did not recommend FluMist during the 2016-2018 flu seasons because it had shown to have poor efficacy in prevention over the injectable vaccine with H1N1.
FluMist manufacturers say they have seen positive study results of the nasal spray vaccine after they added a new H1N1 strain to the formulation.
Jacobson reminds everyone that this year's influenza season remains active. He says if you have not received your flu shot this year, do so now.