After last year’s super-severe flu season, you may be wondering when to get your kiddo their flu vaccine. Well, the CDC recommends ASAP—or at least by the end of October. But timing might not be your only question. If you want to know whether kids should get the flu shot instead of the nasal spray, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has something to say about it.
You may recall that the needle-free nasal spray was out of the picture during last year’s flu season. After failing to provide adequate protection during the 2013-14 and 2015-16 flu seasons, experts didn’t recommend the use of the nasal spray flu vaccine for the 2017-18 flu season.
Even though the stats on the spray’s effectiveness haven’t shown that it works particularly well in past years, this year is different. The CDC and AAP both support the use of the nasal spray this year—but that doesn’t mean it should be the first choice to protect your child.
The AAP still recommends getting the flu shot when possible. If your child absolutely, positively won’t sit for the shot, then your medical provider mat suggest the nasal spray. While this may not provide the same level of protection as the shot, it’s far better than getting no kind of vaccination against the flu at all.
So should your child get the spray or not? If they’re needle-phobic, healthy and at least two years old, the AAP says it’s okay to go for the spray. If they can deal with a needle, then the AAP says they should stick it out for the flu shot. As always, check with your child’s healthcare provider to determine what’s best for them.
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