Every year, influenza vaccine effectiveness is tracked based on what strains of influenza are common in our communities. Over the last couple of years, FluMist has not provided effective protection against the strains of influenza that were prevalent. This lead to the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practice (ACIP) recommending that all ages be vaccinated against influenza with only injectable vaccine for the coming 2016-2017 season. The company that offers FluMist is committed to developing a more effective version to be used in upcoming years.
What does that mean for your child?
Influenza vaccine is still the best way to provide protection against the flu for your child.
There is no risk related to having received FluMist in the past, it is still safe; just not recommended for 2016-2017.
To make your child's appointment successful, there are a few tips that you can utilize:
- Be honest with your child.
- Talk to your child about the upcoming visit at the doctor's office-that may include a visit with your provider or it may be a visit with a nurse just for immunizations.
- If the upcoming visit calls for immunizations, let them know ahead of time. This can help build trust and reduce anxiety.
- Stay calm. Often your child will take their cues from you. It is best not to yell, debate, or bargain, and don't go into a long explanation- keep it simple and factual aimed at their age. Often a simple, " this is to keep you healthy" is appropriate for our younger children.
- Don't promise a no-shot visit. Occasionally a shot will be recommended and it is difficult for a child to adjust to this new plan.