Flu mist not offered this year

The hot weather may make flu season the last thing on your mind, but with school back in session, your children are more exposed to germs.

This year the flu vaccine will not be offered in mist form.

Pharmacist Marshall Davis says it’s not a big issue for Davis Drugs, because they stopped using it several years ago due to lack of traffic. But Davis understands it’s a big part of pediatrician practices.

“According to the CDC, it hasn’t worked really well the last two or three seasons, but this last season it was really not working very well,” Davis said.

He can see how the change to the injection could make children nervous.

“Be strong and brave. Of course, now with needles, they’re very sharp, very small. The actual pain shouldn’t be that much. It’s more of a fear factor than anything,” Davis said.

Doctors at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, including Dr. Melissa Winterhalter, say some ways to calm down young children are to watch videos on your phone or to blow bubbles.

“In older kids, they like to have some control and to understand what’s happening, so taking the time to explain it, what’s happening, to them, showing them the tools, relaxation techniques, such as breathing and guided imagery, can help to reduce anxiety and help the shot to be quick and easy for them," Winterhalter said.

Needle or not, Davis doesn’t want fear to stop you from getting a flu shot.

"The flu itself doesn’t cause that much trouble, but if you are in a diminished state you can get pneumonia and others things that can cause trouble and hospitalizations,” Davis said.

Experts recommend that anyone older than the age of 6 months get a flu shot. The CDC says last year the FluMist was 3 percent effective. The CDC says flu shots had an effectiveness rate of about 63 percent against the flu virus for children between 2 and 17 years old.

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