For the second year in a row, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) is recommending that everyone 6 months and older get a traditional flu shot injection rather than the FluMist nasal spray.
The recommendation is in line with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which issued an advisory against using FluMust after studies showed that it was not effective in preventing high-risk strains of the flu virus in the 2013-14 and 2015-16 seasons.
“I just wonder if we’ll ever see it again,” said Cindy Ruma, immunization coordinator for the Visiting Nurse Association in Omaha.
FluMist was an especially popular option for children, accounting for one-third of all flu vaccines given to children in previous flu seasons when it was recommended.
FluMust was also popular among adult military recruits who are required to get a lot of immunizations before serving and preferred the nasal spray to reduce their total number of shots.
For children who are anxious about getting their shots, doctors have implemented “distraction techniques” that they say are working well.
The techniques include a sugar water solution for babies, a cooling spray that is applied to the injection site after the shot, or a vibrating “buzzy” that pediatricians apply to the injection site before the shot.