American Academy of Pediatrics recommends flu shot over FluMist

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends children receive the injectable flu vaccine for the upcoming season, instead of the nasal spray vaccine FluMist, according to STAT.

"The AAP feels that the flu shot should be the primary vaccine choice for all children," Henry Bernstein, MD, a pediatrician at New Hyde Park, N.Y.-based Northwell Health and an ex-officio member of the AAP's committee on infectious diseases, told STAT.

The APP's flu vaccine advice contradicts CDC recommendations, which promote the use of every flu vaccine on the market for children. However, both organizations agree more children need to be vaccinated.

"Both groups are harmonized in wanting as many children to receive flu vaccines as possible each and every year," Dr. Bernstein told STAT. "When recommendations are not perfectly harmonized, it does pose the possibility for confusion." About 180 children under age 18 died from the flu during the 2017-18 flu season. While the CDC recommends everyone older than six months receive the flu vaccine, only about 60 percent of children between the ages of 6 months and 17 years received flu vaccines in 2016-17, which is the most recent year with available data.

The CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommended against using FluMist for the past two flu seasons due to a lack of evidence regarding the vaccine's efficacy. In February, the committee voted to again recommend FluMist for the 2018-19 flu season.

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