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No More Needles: Health Officials Recommend FluMist for Kids

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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.

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