​Flu mist not recommended this flu season

Posted on 11/14/2016

Palmetto Health Children’s Hospital expert explains why.

Palmetto Health Children’s Hospital is reminding families of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices’ (ACIP) recommendation that the nasal spray flu vaccine is not recommended this season. The ACIP, as well as Palmetto Health, continues to recommend annual flu vaccinations for everyone six months and older.

Anna-Kathryn Rye Burch, M.D., an infectious disease specialist at Palmetto Health Children’s Hospital, said, “The reason is because the flu mist is believed to have been less effective than the shots in preventing the flu during the past several seasons. The manufacturers are working this year to get it effective and ready for next year.  The CDC conducts vaccine effectiveness studies each season to estimate flu vaccine effectiveness.”

Burch added, “This change should not discourage anyone from getting vaccinated. For this season, the vaccine will be a flu shot, rather than the nasal spray form of the vaccine.”

Burch said the most important thing parents can do to protect their families and others in the community is get the influenza vaccination. Seasonal flu vaccines already are available in the community. Many providers offer the seasonal flu vaccine. “Contact your child’s primary care physician to schedule your child’s appointment,” said Burch.

What you can do to prevent flu

  • Wash hands properly and frequently. Alcohol-based cleaners also are effective.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash immediately after you use it, then wash hands thoroughly.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread that way.

Protect your family
When a critical portion of a community is immunized against a contagious disease, most members of the community are protected against that disease because there is little opportunity for an outbreak. Even those who are not eligible for certain vaccines get some protection because the spread of contagious disease is contained. This is known as “herd immunity.”

“When parents opt out of having their children vaccinated, that sets the stage for disease rates to rise. If it were not for vaccines, we would see many more cases of infectious diseases,” said Burch.

About Palmetto Health Palmetto Health Children's Hospital
Palmetto Health Children's Hospital is South Carolina’s first children's hospital and has more than 150,000 children’s visits each year. It offers more than 30 subspecialties to meet the unique health care needs of children and has central South Carolina's only Children’s Emergency Center. With more than 350 professionals who work exclusively with children, Palmetto Health Children's Hospital has a team of highly skilled and trained experts unmatched by any hospital in the Midlands. Palmetto Health Children's Hospital is the place to go for children's medical care, because the best care matters.


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