You can hear them celebrating now. Official advisers to the federal government said kids aged 2 to 8 should get the needle-free flu vaccine.
It’s the first time the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices has recommended a specific brand of flu vaccine. But ACIP members agreed on studies that show FluMist, which is squirted up the nose, is more effective than a shot in the arm for kids.
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ACIP advises the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which can decide whether to take or leave the advice. If CDC approves, it will become official policy — although parents and pediatricians will be free to give any flu vaccine to a child. Kids with egg allergies should get another vaccine formulated without chicken eggs, and all those vaccines are given as shots.
CDC recommends that just about everyone get a flu vaccine every year. Several groups are working on alternatives to flu vaccines that work better without a needle.
- Maggie Fox
First published June 25 2014, 3:00 PM
Maggie Fox is senior health writer for NBC News and TODAY, writing top news on health policy, medical treatments and disease.
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She's a former managing editor for healthcare and technology at National Journal and global health and science editor for Reuters based in Washington, D.C. and London.
She's reported for news agencies, radio, newspapers, magazines and television from across Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Europe covering news ranging from war to politics and, of course, health and science. Her reporting has taken Maggie to Lebanon, Syria and Libya; to China, South Korea, Thailand, the Philippines and Pakistan; to Bosnia, Croatia and Serbia and to Ireland and Northern Ireland and across the rest of Europe.
Maggie has won awards from the Society of Business Editors and Writers, the National Immunization Program, the Overseas Press Club and other organizations. She's done fellowships at Harvard Medical School, the National Institutes of Health and the University of Maryland.