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Archive for Thursday, October 25, 2007

Flu vaccine nasal spray recommended for kids

October 25, 2007

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— Children as young as 2 can be given a nasal spray flu vaccine, a federal advisory panel said Wednesday.

Government advice now recommends only traditional shots for children younger than 5. But recent studies have shown the vaccine FluMist, made by Maryland-based MedImmune Inc., to be safe and effective in children as young as 2.

FluMist was initially approved in 2003 for use in healthy people ages 5 to 49. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration last month approved its use for the 2 to 5 age group as well.

Now, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, which advises government health officials, is recommending FluMist's use for children in the 2 to 5 age bracket. Committee members said Wednesday that children with a history of asthma or wheezing should opt for a shot.

Recommendations by the panel usually are accepted by U.S. health officials, and they influence insurance companies' decisions on vaccination coverage.

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