Le Bonheur Practical Parenting Blog Home Le Bonheur Children's Hospital
Flu Spray or Flu Shot?
last updated:
Thu, 10/25/2012 5:04 PM

We've had many inquiries from parents recently about whether they should have their child vaccinated with the flu shot or the flu mist. Because the key component to flu prevention is getting your child vaccinated, we talked to Dr. Jon McCullers, chief of Pediatrics at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital. Here’s what he had to say.

“First off, the thing parents have to remember is that vaccination is their most important weapon as we enter flu season. It’s quick and easy, as well as safe and effective. I get asked quite often which one is better, although there is not one that is technically 'better' than the other.

In general, healthy children and adults ages 2-49 years of age may receive either the injection or the nasal spray version of the vaccine.  Typically, the nasal spray seems to work best in the younger population from around the ages of 2 to 7. That’s because those kids haven’t typically been exposed to the flu yet, and the spray seems to benefit that particular age group’s immunities.

The main message I want to relay to parents is just get vaccinated;the flu is preventable. Whether you decide to do the spray or the shot, you and your family will be protected from getting an illness that causes a lot of discomfort and can lead to other things if not treated. Both forms of the vaccine are available at your pediatrician’s office or local drug store. If you've got other questions or concerns, talking to your pediatrician is best."

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Le Bonheur Children's Medical Center is a leading children's hospital in the Mid South, providing pediatric care to children from 95 counties in six states.
50 N. Dunlap Street, Memphis, Tennessee 38103 • (901) 287-KIDS