Flu Vaccine: Nasal Spray or Injection?


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The national Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommends that all persons ages 6 months and older be vaccinated annually against influenza. For 2015-16, the ACIP did not renew its 2014-15 preference for using the nasal spray flu vaccine instead of the flu shot in healthy children ages 2-8.

The decision not to renew this recommendation was made based on new data from more recent seasons that have not confirmed superior effectiveness of the nasal spray vaccine observed in earlier studies. ACIP recommends that children ages 6 months and older get an annual influenza vaccine with no preference stated for either the nasal spray vaccine or flu shot.

The ACIP is a panel of immunization experts that advises the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Part of the ACIP charter is to continually evaluate new data and update or change recommendations as warranted. The new data considered by ACIP included vaccine effectiveness estimates for the 2013-14 and 2014-15 seasons.

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