Immunizations & Vaccines • Sep 22, 2016

Is FluMist Available This Year? (2016-2017 Flu Season FAQs)

With flu season upon us, it is important to consider whether the flu shot is a good idea for your child. Lila Kerts, Nurse Practitioner with Washington University at St. Louis Children’s Hospital, discusses several key questions parents are asking about the 2016-2017 flu vaccine– including addressing the availability and effectiveness of FluMist, a nasal spray variation on the influenza vaccine (flu shot)

She addresses all of these questions (and more):

What is the best time to get the flu shot? Should you vaccinate now? Later? We simplify the timing discussion and provide an actionable plan for protecting your child (and your entire family) from the flu virus.

What age should you consider the flu shot for your child?

One important consideration before deciding to vaccinate is considering whether your child is old enough to safely receive injections. The flu shot is recommended for everyone 6 months of age and older and we even recommended that some children receive two doses the first year.

Can my child get FluMist this year?

We discuss a major change for the 2016-2017 flu season: FluMist, the nasally-administered alternative to “traditional” flu shot, is no longer available. In fact, FluMist was only effective in 3% of children last year.

What do I do if my kid is afraid of getting the flu shot?

Sometimes you have to make a hard decision to balance your child’s health concerns (getting the vaccine) and protecting them from perceived harm. There are a variety of ways to ease your child’s anxiety, and we cover a few of them here. Most importantly, if your child is afraid of needles or shots come prepared to facilitate giving the immunization. Distracting your child and giving them something else to focus on can be a simple way to ease the fear and pain of getting the flu shot.

What is the best time to get the flu shot?

Ultimately, flu vaccinations will protect you, your child, and your family. While it’s certainly not too early to receive the flu vaccine now, it is especially important to try and get it by the end of October.

Follow the simple tips/guidelines discussed in the video, and you can help keep everyone safe, happy, and healthy this year.