Flu Season Shows First Signs of Slowing

Courtesy MGN CDC

Two years ago, the Advisory Committee of Immunization Practices withdrew its recommendation for FluMist after research found that it was largely ineffective.

Several South Jersey parents were upset two years ago when the nasal spray was no longer offered by most pediatricians, saying it was easier on their children to get the nasal spray than a shot.

While this flu season is still one of the worst seen in years, the first signs that infection rates are starting to level off were reported by US health officials on Friday. This was in comparison to the flu shot, which was 65 percent effective across all strains, according to CNN. Next flu season, you'll be able to get a vaccine without a needle.

The needle-free FluMist influenza vaccine is coming back to the US after two years off the market, promising a less painful way for people to inoculate themselves against the infectious disease.

About 84 children in the United States have died from the flu as of February 10, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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The vaccine will still be subject to annual strain approval by the FDA for next season. As early as 2007, the ACIP had approved its use for children as young as 2 years old.

FluMist stands to represent another option for doctors after a devastating flu season in recent months. The ACIP reviewed data in June 2016 that showed no significant vaccine effectiveness among children 2 through 17 years of age for the vaccine for all influenza A and B viruses combined.

The vaccine remains on the recommended list in Canada and the European Union. But the company that makes Flumist said it's reformulated the vaccine and after tests, it works better now.

Currently, the United States is going through a particularly tough flu season, with severe cases at epidemic levels and hospitals clogged with patients battling the illness.

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