Flu Shot vs. Flu Mist: Know Your Options

Choosing_Flu_Shot_Vs_SprayAs someone who doesn't exactly love needles, I was amped when I first heard about the nasal spray flu vaccine a few years back. I mean, come on -- avoid the prick, just get a little spritz, and be all set? Sounds like a dream to me!

Regardless, there are some things you should know, both for yourself and your kids, when you're choosing between the flu vaccine shot and the nasal spray. Here's everything you need to know about the nasal vaccine vs. the flu shot, here:


1. Who should use the spray? The spray is NOT meant for children younger than 2 and adults over 50. Pregnant woman should also opt for the shot over the spray.

2. None is recommended over the other: The CDC does not recommend one flu vaccine over another. The most important thing is just to get vaccinated, and both are equally effective. 

3. However, the nasal spray works better for kids: There's evidence that the FluMist nasal spray works better in kids than the shot. 

4. Neither vaccine causes the flu: A very huge myth among vaccinators, neither the flu spray nor the shot can actually cause the flu illness. The viruses that are injected into the body cannot infest in the lungs or other body areas with warmer temperatures.

5. Watch out if you're sick: The nasal spray can be given to people with minor illnesses (i.e., upper respiratory tract infection with or without fever or diarrhea). Other than that -- it's only approved for use in healthy people. When you're severely congested, it's recommended you choose the shot over the nasal spray.

Do you get the flu vaccine every year? Which one do you choose for yourself and your family?


Image via alviseni/Flickr

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