Photo: andreasnilsson1976 (flickr)
Did you get a flu vaccine this year? Maybe you were too busy, or maybe you don’t like getting shots.
A lot of people hate shots, especially kids. Even though the vaccine shot is just a little poke in the arm, the thought of getting jabbed by a needle is enough to make some kids throw a fit.
Now you can get a flu vaccine without getting a shot. Instead, you can get the flu mist. It’s just like using nasal spray, but instead of saline solution, or decongestant, you get weakened flu viruses shot up your nose.
Does it work as well as a flu shot?
Yes, maybe even better than the shot. The flu vaccine you get in a shot consists of inactivated viruses, meaning that the viruses are dead. The mist uses live attenuated viruses, meaning that the viruses are alive but weakened. The body actually produces stronger antibodies to attack those weakened viruses than the inactive ones.
The mist reduces your chance of getting the flu by 92%. Besides not hurting, one good thing about the mist is that it goes directly into the lungs and lasts for about a year.
The mist isn’t for everyone. If you’re younger than two or older than fifty, you have to brave the shot because the mist is known to cause wheezing and other side effects in the very young and among fifty-somethings.