The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends healthy children ages two to eight get the nasal flu spray when available, a much better option than being poked by a sharp needle.
John Temte is professor of family medicine at UW Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. “We preferentially recommend the live attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV) — or the nasal spray vaccine — because it appears to be somewhat more effective in preventing influenza.”
Temte says the nasal spray protects against four strains of influenza. It’s important to note the flu shot is very effective at reducing the risk of getting the flu; but, he says, the nasal spray reduces that risk even more for children two to eight years old. Temte says the nasal spray is as much as 50 percent more effective than the shot for this particular age group.
It only takes about two weeks for the influenza vaccine to be effective. The timing of the flu season is relatively unpredictable.
Everyone over 6 months should receive some form of influenza vaccine.