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FluMist vs the traditional flu shot

Comparing the flu shot vs FluMist.

Lynchburg, Va. (WSET) - FluMist is making a comeback this year. Campbell County, Bedford County and Lynchburg City schools plan to make it available to students.

This comes after a 2 year hiatus. The CDC stopped recommending the nasal spray option because it was not protecting people from the H1N1 strain of the flu.


The two vaccines work in similar ways, but there some differences you need to consider.

The traditional flu shot uses dead viruses to stimulate your body to produce antibodies to fight off influenza.

The nasal spray vaccine also teaches your body to produce flu-fighting antibodies, but it uses a live, weakened virus.

The vaccine is sprayed directly into your nose, where the virus strains reproduce.

Dr. Melody Ailsworth says you should not get it if you have a history of asthma or wheezing.

"FluMist is a live virus. Therefore likely to have a few flu like symptoms -- congestion, cough, maybe even fever," Ailsworth explained.

The needle-less option sounds pretty good -- especially if you have kids -- but the American Academy of Pediatrics still recommends the shot over the mist.

The nasal spray is approved for individuals aged 2 to 49, while the shot is approved for all individuals starting at six months.

The nasal spray should not be given to pregnant women or to people with certain medical conditions.

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