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For the past decade, FluMist nasal spray offered a needle­-free alternative to the standard flu shot. Now, doctors and health officials are warning against it.

After reviewing data from 2013­-2016, the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices discovered that the popular nasal spray only reduced incidence of flu by 3% compared to those who went unvaccinated. The traditional injected vaccine lowers the risk by 63% and is currently the only recommended option to protect against influenza.

While a shot may be unpleasant, influenza vaccination is critical to personal and public health. Seasonal flu accounts for an estimated 200,000 hospitalizations and up to 49,000 deaths each year in the U.S.. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends annual seasonal influenza immunization for everyone 6 months and older. It is especially important to get vaccinated if you care for or spend time with people at a higher risk of complications from influenza. This includes infants, the elderly and those with compromised immune systems.

Flu Season can begin as early as October, so don’t wait. Get vaccinated today.

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