Federal officials are advising that people seeking a flu vaccine this year not get the Flu Mist – a version of the vaccine that’s delivered through a nasal spray instead of using a needle. Rather, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is recommending the traditional flu shot be used by those hoping to protect themselves.
Wisconsin State Health Officer Karen McKeown says the recommendation comes in response to concerns about the effectiveness of the nasal spray in actually preventing the illness. “Looking at the data from the past year and the past several years, Flu Mist has not proven effective in preventing the flu,” she says.
The mist is often used by young children and adults who fear needles. McKeown admits not using it could have some people second-guessing whether to get vaccinated this fall. “We know that there are people who really really do not like needles, so we’re just encouraging everyone to think about the consequences (of not getting vaccinate).”
McKeown says recent flu shots have proven much more effective in preventing the illness.