Panel: Flu spray better than shots for young kids

by Mike Stobbe

When it comes to flu vaccines, a federal panel says a squirt in the nose is better than a shot in the arm for young children.

The agreed Wednesday to tell doctors that FluMist nasal spray is a bit better at preventing flu in healthy young kids. The advice is specific to children ages 2 through 8.

Federal health officials usually adopt the panel's recommendations and ask doctors and patients to follow them.

A pediatricians' group, however, opposes the move. The group says FluMist is more expensive and doctors have already ordered their vaccine doses for the fall flu season.

The is recommended for everyone over 6 months old. The nasal spray version is approved only for ages 2 to 49.

More information: Vaccine panel: www.cdc.gov/vaccines/acip

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