I heard that I cannot get nasal spray flu vaccine for my kids this year. Is that true?
Yes. The live attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV) nasal spray, is not recommended for use for any ages during the 2016-2017 flu season in the United States. There are other flu vaccines available. Talk with your provider about what is best for you and your family.
Why isn't nasal spray flu vaccine recommended this flu season?
Recent studies show LAIV, the nasal spray vaccine, doesn't provide adequate protection against flu disease and illness, so the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) does not recommend the nasal spray this upcoming 2016-2017 flu season. The injectable flu shot will still be available and is the best protection currently available against flu disease.
Will the regular flu shot be available?
Yes. The injectable flu shot will be available, and is recommended for everyone aged 6 months and older. The flu shot is safe and effective at preventing flu disease and illness and will be widely available for all ages this flu season. The formula is updated every year to provide protection against the flu virus strains believed most likely to make people sick. You can use the online Flu Vaccine Finder to locate vaccine available in your area.
Will there be enough flu vaccine this year?
Yes. There are many manufacturers making flu vaccine for the U.S. Market. CDC has assured us there will be enough flu vaccine to meet the flu vaccination needs for both children and adults this season.
I don't like needles. Will the nasal spray flu vaccine ever come back?
The nasal spray vaccine may be available in the future if studies show it can provide better protection. This year's recommendation is based on available evidence and studies continue to be done every year on all flu vaccines to ensure the public has the best protection available.
I received nasal spray flu vaccine last flu season. Do I need to get re-vaccinated?
You will need to get a flu shot when new vaccine becomes available for the 2016-2017 flu season. Flu vaccination is recommended every year and is available in early fall at retail locations, pharmacies, clinics and health care providers in your area. If you have questions about flu vaccine, or other vaccines you may need, call the Family Health Hotline at 1-800-322-2588.
Why is annual flu vaccine so important?
Flu viruses can change every year. Flu vaccine is updated to include protection against the strains of flu believed most likely to make people sick that year. Flu virus is easily spread from person to person and flu is a very serious illness. Millions of people get sick, and thousands die, from flu illness each and every year. Flu vaccine is the best protection we have and has been used safely and effectively for over 70 years.