The flu vaccine nasal spray is an inoculation which is administered via atomizer into the nasal passages to reduce the chances of infection by the influenza virus. This vaccine provides an alternative to the tradition flu vaccine shot, and it possesses several potential benefits. The flu vaccine nasal spray does not involve needles, and some evidence suggests that in children, it may provide better protection against influenza than a flu vaccine shot. In addition, it is widely available to the public in a growing number of countries. It should be noted that the flu vaccine nasal spray also has some potentially negative aspects, including an age limit and the possibility of side effects.
One benefit of the flu vaccine nasal spray is particularly appreciated by parents of young children and those wary of or sensitive to shots: it is administered without the use of a needle. Instead, it is sprayed into the nasal passages, allowing children and those with needle phobias to become inoculated without the fear and discomfort often associated with a traditional vaccination. Additionally, this lack of needles means that the flu vaccine nasal spray does not cause bruising or lingering soreness at the vaccination site.
Further, medical research suggests that the flu vaccine nasal spray may provide better protection against influenza infection among children than the flu shot. It should be noted, however, that as of 2010, this evidence is not yet considered conclusive. In addition, studies show that in adults, the flu shot may perform as well as or better than the nasal spray.
Another benefit of the flu vaccine nasal spray is its growing availability. As of 2010, the vaccine is in use at doctors’ offices and pharmacies in countries such as the US, Canada, and India, and may soon be available in Europe. Since yearly supplies are usually finite, however, it is recommended that those who wish to receive the vaccine do so shortly after it has become available each year, usually around the month of October.
It should be noted that the flu vaccine nasal spray has some potential drawbacks. First of all, it is recommended for use only in those between the ages of 2 and 49, and cannot be given to pregnant women or those with severe immune system disorders. Secondly, unlike the traditional flu shot, the nasal vaccine contains a live but scientifically weakened form of the influenza virus. As a result, the vaccine causes a mild initial infection of the nasal passages in some individuals, resulting in symptoms like congestion or runny nose.