Nasal Flu Vaccine

This year (the 2020-21 flu season) we have a limited supply of the nasal flu vaccine (Flumist). But there are certain people who absolutely should not get the nasal vaccine and others for whom it may not be a good idea (these people should consult with their physician).

Those who definitely should not get the nasal flu vaccine are people in the following categories:

  • Children under 2 years of age
  • Children under 18 years of age currently receiving aspirin- or salicylate-containing therapy
  • Children under 5 years of age who have had wheezing or asthma in the past 12 months
  • People who have had a serious allergic reaction to a flu vaccine or flu vaccine ingredient (including gentamicin, gelatin, or arginine)
  • People who have a weakened immune system (immunosuppressed, immunocompromised, or on long term oral steroids)
  • People who live with or care for a person who is immunocompromised
  • People without a functioning spleen
  • Pregnant women
  • People with a cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leak into the nose, mouth, ear, or other part of the skull
  • People with a cochlear implant
  • People who have taken flu antiviral drugs within the last 17 days

Those for whom it may not be a good idea and consultation with a physician is recommended include:

  • People over 4 years of age who have asthma
  • People with lung, heart, kidney, or liver disease, neurological or neuromuscular disease, or a metabolic disorder (including diabetes)
  • People who currently have a fever or are otherwise sick
  • People who have been diagnosed with Guillain-Barre Syndrome within 6 weeks of a previous flu vaccine

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