Each year as flu season looms, doctors and nurses remind the public to get their flu shots. This month Penny Conner, a nurse consultant for the immunization program at the Georgia Department of Public Health, recaps the latest updates from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.
“The ACIP met in June,” Conner says, “and they are recommending that healthy children get the nasal spray flu vaccine as opposed to the shot.” Typically the ACIP does not recommend a specific type of flu vaccine, she says, but recent studies suggest that the nasal spray offers better protection than the shot. It’s important that it only be administered to healthy recipients, though, because the spray is a live vaccine.
Conner also points out that, whether you choose the shot or the spray, “Since 2010, we have suggested that everyone over six months of age get a flu vaccine with very few exceptions.”
Another development Conner mentions is a flu vaccine developed without eggs. Some flu vaccines are created using chicken eggs, but if you are allergic or live a vegan lifestyle, opt for the egg-free version that became available last fall.