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Nasal spray flu vaccination an option again

Posted at 3:03 PM, Sep 25, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-25 20:58:43-04

For the first time in two years, a nasal spray for the flu season will be available. The nasal spray vaccine was not used for the past two flu seasons because some doctors said it was only about 10% effective.

Dr. William Burgin Jr., a health official for the City-County Health Department, said the nasal spray vaccine is a little different than the traditional shot. The nasal spray is a live virus.

“It’s directly into the blood stream,” Dr. Burgin said. “And so your immune system is immediately affected.”

Because your immune system is immediately affected, there’s a small chance you could get mild flu symptoms. The nasal spray isn’t recommended for anyone under three years of age. However, the CDC is now recommending it as another option to fight the flu this season.

“They have changed the ingredients in it [the nasal spray],” Dr. Burgin said. “And so now it’s more effective.”

Of the two options, Dr. Burgin recommends one over the other.

“When you use the nasal spray, it depends on whether you have a cold or whether your nasal passages are blocked,” Dr. Burgin said. “But if you can take the shot, take the shot.”

You can get the nasal spray or flu shot at area pharmacies, the health department, or even your primary care doctor.