Elimination of flu nasal spray making vaccinating kids more difficult

AP Image
AP Image

(WCMH) — Sorry, parents! This year doctors say kids shouldn’t get the nasal spray flu vaccine because it doesn’t work. It could impact how many get vaccinated this flu season.

Tears and pain are two big reasons many moms and dad dread getting their kids the flu shot. With the nasal spray off the table, doctors hope they can still vaccinate.

Every day, doctor and mom of two Miriam Garcellano, with the Family Practice Center of Westerville, said she has to convince families to get the flu shot.

“Oh, it’s a variety of reasons. Fear of needles. Don’t believe in the flu shot. I get sick if I get the flu shot,” said Dr. Garcellano.

The elimination of the nasal spray vaccine hasn’t made her job any easier.

“When they have pre-conceived notions about the flu vaccine then I find it difficult and challenging,” she said.

The CDC said a third of kids got the nasal spray over the flu shot in recent years. But, the sprays effectiveness was only 3 percent compared to 63 percent with the shot.

Mom Megan Buscemi said she’ll still vaccinate her daughter.

“It doesn’t bother me at all. I want Violet to have every single shot her pediatrician offers,” said Buscemi. But, she understands why some parents hesitate.

“It is painful for a minute and I think a lot of parents are driven away from that out of compassion for their own child, but to me one second’s worth of pinch is worth all that protection,” said Buscemi.

Dr. Garcellano said one out of five patients she sees won’t vaccinate. With fewer flu vaccination options she hopes that number doesn’t go up.

Doctors recommend everyone be vaccinated by the end of October when flu season typically starts.