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CDC recommends getting nasal flu vaccine this year

September 19, 2018

In this Oct. 4, 2005 file photo, Amanda Klopfer reacts as she is given a FluMist influenza vaccination in St. Leonard, Md. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is recommending the nasal vaccine this year, after not recommending it the last two years. (AP Photo/Chris Gardner, File)

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is recommending a nasal vaccine as a preventive measure against the flu this year, giving people an alternative to the needle that wasn’t recommneded the past two years.

The latest nasal vaccines appear to be more effective against H1N1 strains of the virus than the vaccines were for the last two years, according to the CDC.

Unlike flu shots, the nasal vaccine contains a weakened version of the flu, which is meant to provoke an immune response. Doctors may offer the nasal vaccine as an alternative for people who otherwise would skip the vaccination due to fear of needles.

The flu hit Pennsylvania hard last season, infecting 12,676 people in Allegheny County and 3,575 in Westmoreland County, according to Department of Health figures. The flu season typically runs from the beginning of October to May.

The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, which provides advice and guidelines of vaccine-preventable diseases in the United States, voted early this year to recommend placing the nasal spray on the CDC’s list of recommended vaccines.

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