Stinging news: People used to nasal flu vaccines need to face th - Tucson News Now

Stinging news: People used to nasal flu vaccines need to face the needle

Preparing for the 2016-2017 flu season. (Source: KPHO/KTVK) Preparing for the 2016-2017 flu season. (Source: KPHO/KTVK)
Preparing for the 2016-2017 flu season. (Source: KPHO/KTVK) Preparing for the 2016-2017 flu season. (Source: KPHO/KTVK)
Preparing for the 2016-2017 flu season. (Source: KPHO/KTVK) Preparing for the 2016-2017 flu season. (Source: KPHO/KTVK)
Preparing for the 2016-2017 flu season. (Source: KPHO/KTVK) Preparing for the 2016-2017 flu season. (Source: KPHO/KTVK)
MESA, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

So long FluMist.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned earlier this summer that only injectable flu shots are recommended this season instead of the easier, less painful nasal spray vaccine.

“The CDC has basically come out and said it’s not effective,” Dr. Art Mollen, of Phoenix, said, referring to the nasal spray. “The last two years it did not show any kind of effectiveness  in preventing influenza.”

[CDC: Prevention and Control of Seasonal Influenza with Vaccines]

That means parents will have to prepare their needle-phobic children to brace for a little pain.

“And if children are younger, below the age of 8, and they’ve received the flu shot for the first time, they’ll have to actually get another flu shot a month later because if it’s their first immunization, it’s the only way to give them full protection,” Mollen said.

It takes about two to three weeks to build up immunity and develop antibodies to the vaccine .

“If the infant is under 6 months, they are not eligible to get the flu shot,” Mollen said. “So it’s important for those parents to get the flu shot as well as all the other family members because that will protect the small infant from getting influenza.”

The best time to get a flu shot is toward the end of September and the beginning of October.

[CDC: Questions & Answers about the flu season]

"You should certainly get a flu shot by the end of October because flu season will start anytime from Nov. 1 on through December and January," Mollen said. "It’s not too late to get a flu shot even if you go into January."

The flu virus mutates from one strain to another.

“The last couple of years, one of the major strains has been the swine flu,” Mollen said.

According to the CDC, three-component vaccines are recommended to contain:

  • A/California/7/2009 (H1N1)pdm09-like virus,
  • A/Hong Kong/4801/2014 (H3N2)-like virus and a
  • B/Brisbane/60/2008-like virus (B/Victoria lineage).

Usually, each vaccine has about three strains. Some actually have four strains.

It’s not possible to predict what this flu season will be like. While flu spreads every year, the timing, severity, and length of the season vary from one year to another.

Copyright 2016 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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