ATLANTA — When it comes to flu vaccines, a federal panel said, a squirt in the nose is better than a shot in the arm for young children.
The advisory panel voted Wednesday to advise doctors that FluMist nasal spray is a bit better at preventing flu in healthy young children. The recommendation is specific to ages 2 through 8 only.
Some studies have found that children within that age group are about half as likely to get the flu if they had the spray vaccine instead of a shot.
Federal health officials usually adopt the recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. A flu vaccine is now recommended for virtually everyone over 6 months old.
AstraZeneca’s FluMist is the only spray vaccine on the market. It was first licensed in 2003 and is approved for healthy people ages 2 to 49. Unlike flu shots made from a killed virus, it is made from a live but weakened flu virus.