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Saturday, July 2, 2016

CDC panel advises against FluMist

Alachua County's Control Flu program might need to stock up on Band-Aids.

Since 2009, the program has annually administered the FluMist vaccine, a nasal spray that can prevent multiple strains of influenza, to pre-kindergarten- through 12th-grade students. During the 2015-16 flu season, it vaccinated more than 14,500 students, a record for the program.

And a University of Florida graduate published a study this year finding that the program could be a cost-effective initiative statewide.

But a U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention committee on Wednesday advised against using the FluMist vaccine, saying it appeared less effective than flu shot vaccines.


The FluMist vaccine uses live, but weakened, influenza to kick start one's immune system. Flu shots, rather, use inactivated influenza.

Paul Myers, administrator of the Alachua County Health Department, said the county will continue its Control Flu program, although he's unsure which vaccine the program will use.

"I don't know if FluMist will even be available," he said.


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