The weather is cooling off in the Atlanta area and that means that flu season is approaching. Now is the time of year that people begin to research their options for the flu vaccine. Flu season usually lasts from October through May and it is best to get the flu vaccine as early as September or October.
There are two ways to recieve the flu vaccine for patients that are between the ages of 2 and 50. There is the flu shot that contains a dead version of the flu virus and there is FluMist which is a live weakened flu virus that is administered in a nasal spray. FluMist has been shown in clinical studies to be as effective as the flu shot.
According to the Center of Disease Control, there are some some patients that should not be vaccinated with FluMist.
- People less than 2 years old
- People over the age of 50
- People with a medical condition that are high risk for complications from influenza. People that have heart or lung disease, asthma, or any disease that can compromise the immune system.
- Children that are under 5 years old with a history of recurrent wheezing
- Children recieving aspirin
- People with a history of Gullain-Barre Syndrome after recieving an influenza vaccine
- Pregnant women
- People with allergies to chicken eggs or allergies to any components of the nasal vaccine
The most common side effects in chldren are nasal congestion, runny nose, headache, muscle aches, and slight fever. Fever is not a common side effect in adults.