Flu Vaccine News For Parents: Flu Shot Trumps FluMist

I have some bad news for all the children in the U.S: Scientific evidence has clearly shown that the Flu shot is superior(63%) in protecting against the Flu than the newer vaccine Flumist (3%), which is a nasal inoculation. This means that getting a flu shot will provide the important protection against the key strains of influenza virus that the Flumist doesn’t.

This may discourage parents from dragging their children to the pediatrician’s office for a shot, but as we all know it is an important, worthwhile vaccination that can save lives.

Important Facts about Flu Vaccines: They are not All the Same

There is an assortment of Flu shots available, but they are not all the same. I provide in my practice and highly recommend Fluzone for several reasons:

  1. It covers and protects against all the major strains of Influenza virus.
  2. It is preservative-free , so it does not contain mercury or thiomerosal; there is no proof these preservatives are dangerous to children, but if there is another option without them it seems to make sense.
  3. It’s made in the U.S.A- I don’t know about you, but I much prefer when medical treatments are actually made in the United States; I know they are rigorously tested and the quality of the products are reviewed; there are other flu vaccinations that are made in foreign countries ranging from Korea to Russia.

Best Time to Schedule a Flu Shot:

The flu shots take at least 2 weeks for the body’s immune system to develop antibodies to be effective in neutralizing against the infection.

The peak flu season seems to occur in the early winter, so to play it safe it makes sense to get vaccinated in October and no later than November .

I know in a few weeks I will be rolling up my sleeve, take in a few deep breaths and let my nurse give me my flu shot- a doctor can’t afford to miss a few weeks of work caring for others, especially if he has the flu.

- Dr. Dean Mitchell

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