Dr. Zibdeh-Lough On KVUE: FluMist is Ineffective
Tips on how to make the flu shot less stressful
August 30, 2016
This year, children getting a flu vaccine will not be able to avoid a shot. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently announced that the nasal spray flu vaccine called FluMist is ineffective.
Dr. Hana Zibdeh-Lough, pediatrician at ARC Round Rock, discussed with KVUE-TV what this means for the upcoming flu season including tips on how to get kids comfortable with a needle. Below is a portion of her Q&A.
What is FluMist? Who is it usually recommend for?
FluMist is a nasal spray flu vaccine. Traditionally, FluMist was offered to children ages two and up as an alternative to the shot.
Why did the CDC say that FluMist is ineffective?
A few weeks ago, the CDC said that the nasal spray version of the flu vaccine doesn’t work as well. When the CDC looked at the data from last year’s flu season, it appeared that FluMist had an effective rate of only 3%, essentially providing no protective benefit. They aren’t exactly sure why the effectiveness of last year’s FluMist vaccine dropped so much. Nevertheless, they are advising that FluMist not be administered this upcoming flu season. Fortunately, the flu vaccine administered via a shot is very effective.
What does that mean for the next flu vaccine season?
Since the nasal spray vaccine has been shown to be ineffective, it means kids will not be able to avoid getting a shot.
Why is it important that kids get vaccinated?
The flu is a serious illness. It can cause mild to moderate disease, but in many cases can cause a severe illness sometimes requiring hospitalization. The people who are particularly susceptible are children, the elderly or people who have weak immune systems.
How can parents help make their kids comfortable with getting a shot?
Young children often reflect their parents’ emotions so it is important for parents to stay calm before and during the shot. Distraction can also be a very effective method to reduce pain. Try blowing bubbles or a pinwheel to “blow out” the pain, read a book or tell a story, and, believe it or not, try coughing! Coughing before and during the injection has been proven to decrease pain. Most importantly, never threaten negative behavior with shots. These are important vaccines—children should learn that the shots will protect them, not hurt them!
For the full interview, check out KVUE.com.