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Q: Should I get the flu shot or the nasal spray flu vaccine?
A: EVERYONE 6 month old and older should be vaccinated against the flu unless there is a medical reason not to! We do have a choice between the flu shot and the newer nasal spray (flu mist).
Either vaccine will help protect equally against the flu virus, but some people are better suited for one over the other. The main differences are that the flu nasal spray is easier to take; children (and many adults) might prefer it to getting a flu shot, and there is evidence that in young children, FluMist might offer somewhat better protection than the traditional flu shot. However the flu shot is indicated for and is safer for a larger group of people.
The flu shot can be given to:
The flu shot should not be used in:
The Nasal Flu Vaccine (Flu Mist)
This flu vaccine is sprayed into the nose. The major difference is that this contains a live virus (weakened). The side effects are usually minor, although they can be more severe than the side effects of the flu shot. These include runny nose, headache, sore throat, and cough, and rarely vomiting, fever, and muscle aches.
The nasal vaccine can be given to:
Who Needs to Be Vaccinated Against the Flu?
All people 6 month and older should be vaccinated. However, there are some HIGH RISK groups who really should receive it:
By Sucharu Chris Prakash, MD, eParisExtra
This information is strictly an opinion of Dr. Prakash and is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor. Dr. Chris Prakash is a contributing columnist and author of eParisExtra’s “The Doctor is In” column. He is a medical oncologist at Texas Oncology Paris. He is board certified in Internal Medicine, Oncology and Hematology. He lives in Paris with his wife and two children and can be reached at (903) 785-0031 or Sucharu.firstname.lastname@example.org.