FluMist may be less effective than flu shot in children, study finds

The nasal spray flu vaccination FluMist appeared to be less effective at preventing the flu in children than the traditional shot, according to a study published in the journal Pediatrics and reported by CNN.

A team of researchers led by Jessie Chung, an epidemiologist in the CDC's influenza division, examined data from five previously published studies on vaccine effectiveness during the 2013-14 and 2015-16 flu seasons. The combined data included 17,173 children, aged 2 to 17, from 42 states.

Here are four things to know:

1. The FluMist nasal spray considered in the study was a live attenuated influenza vaccine, whereas the flu shot was an inactivated influenza vaccine.

2. The study found that the flu shot was 51 percent effective against any type of flu virus, compared to the nasal spray, which was 26 percent effective.

3. The CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices OK'd FluMist for this flu season, despite the fact it had not recommended the nasal spray for the past two flu seasons. This year's FluMist was a newly formulated vaccine that wasn't included in the study.

4. According to CNN, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends the inactivated flu shot for children "because it has provided the most consistent protection against all strains of the flu virus in recent years."

More articles on clinical leadership and infection control:

19 states report high flu activity: 5 things to know
Viewpoint: Why better diagnostics are key to fighting flu
Flu shot gets spotlight at Golden Globes

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