Children are phobic to needles. When it comes to taking shots, they are the one who want it to be avoided at any cost.
In what could be termed as good news for the kids in the age group 2 to 8, US health experts have voted the flu vaccine via a nasal spray more than the traditional shot.
The Advisory Committee on Immunization (ACIP), vaccine advisory panel of the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, has said that the tiny tots, who get infected with the seasonal influenza, can be vaccinated with a nasal spritz.
“I agree with the panel’s recommendation. Kids don’t like shots, so the spray is a perfect alternative,” said one expert in infectious disease, Dr Marc Siegel, an associate professor of medicine at NYU Langone Medical Centre in New York City.
The ACIP made the recommendation after reviewing the available studies.
Dr Gloria Riefkohl, a paediatrician at Miami Children’s Hospital, said, “ACIP is following steps that have already occurred in Europe. The nasal flu vaccine has been available since 2003. In our practice, we recommend the nasal vaccine for all healthy children up to 21.”
The advisory panel suggested doctors to go for FluMist nasal spray in young healthy kids.
FluMist, made by AstraZeneca, is currently the only nasal flu vaccine on the market and was first licensed in 2003. It is currently approved for use for the age group- 2 to 49. The ACIP, however, has recommended its use only among children between the age group 2 to 8.
Flu is considered to be one of the leading killers in the United States. On average, about 24,000 Americans die each flu season, according to the CDC.
According to the health officials, symptoms indicative of the flu include fever, coughing, a sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headaches and fatigue. So, it’s better to have the flu shots.
High-risk people typically include seniors, children between the ages of six months (the earliest point at which flu vaccine is given) and five years, pregnant women and people with certain health conditions. Some also covered are people who care for these high-risk individuals and could transmit flu to them, though the list differs from province to province and people in doubt should check their health ministry’s website or ask a doctor.