The AAP recommendations are in line with an advisory from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) against using FluMist because it did not effectively prevent infections with several high-risk strains of the flu virus in the 2013-14 and 2015-16 seasons.
FluMist was the only nasal spray flu vaccine on the market. It was an especially popular option for children who often have anxiety about getting their shots. FluMist was given to about 1 in 3 children who got flu vaccines before 2013 when it was still recommended by the CDC.
FluMist was also a popular option for military recruits who wanted to reduce the total number of injections they needed before deployment.
Doctors are now recommending a traditional flu shot injection for everyone over the age of 6 months, so long as they do not have a contraindication like a severe allergic reaction to a previous flu shot.
For children who are afraid of getting their shots, doctors say parents should tell the child they will feel a little pinch and then use a distraction technique — such as applying a vibrating “buzzy” on the injection site before the child gets the shot, and then applying a cooling spray after the shot or a sugar-water solution for babies.