Sorry, parents. The nasal spray version of the flu vaccine won’t be a go-to option for your kids this year. The American Academy of Pediatrics recently joined with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in recommending against the nasal spray flu vaccine, saying it doesn’t effectively protect against the virus.
The CDC found that among children ages 2 to 17, during the 2015 to 2016 flu season, effectiveness for the nasal spray was 3 percent. The effectiveness rate for the shot was 63 percent.
Doctors recommend individuals 6 months and older receive their flu shots by the end of October. According to the CDC, seasonal flu viruses can be detected year-round, however, seasonal flu activity can begin as early as October and continue to occur as late as May. Flu activity most commonly peaks in the United States between December and March.
Even though nasal sp rays aren’t an option for kids this year, don’t hesitate to get your children vaccinated. The flu vaccine is the most effective solution for disease prevention. “If you get influenza you can be bedridden for five to seven days. That means no school, that means no work,” says Frank Esper, MD, Pediatric Infectious Disease Specialist at University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital. “One child gets the flu you know how these things pass through the house, and so by getting an influenza shot for your child, you’re protecting everyone else.”