We at Associates in Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine (APAM) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) do not recommend the nasal spray vaccine (FluMist) this flu season, after studies show poor effectiveness The AAP recommends that all children ages 6 months and older receive a seasonal flu shot during the 2016-17 season, as vaccination remains the best available preventive measure against influenza, according to an updated policy statement in the October 2016 Pediatrics. The policy statement, “Recommendations for Prevention and Control of Influenza in Children, 2016–2017,” supports the recommendation by federal health officials not to use the live attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV), administered by intranasal spray (FluMist).
The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) found that the nasal spray vaccine did not protect against certain strains of the flu virus that were most prominent the past three seasons. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the distribution of the nasal vaccine. The position of the FDA appears to be, if given the choice of no flu vaccine, or the nasal vaccine, they would recommend the nasal vaccine as some protection is better than none.
We have ordered a limited quantity of FluMist for those patients who refuse the injection and would rather some protection than none. We are unsure as to when we will receive any FluMist. Insurance companies have informed us that they WILL NOT COVER the FluMist this year because of the recent studies. If you still choose to vaccinate you or your child with FluMist, the charge will be $35.