JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – News4Jax has a Health alert involving changes to this Flu season for your children. Pediatricians are saying ‘no’ to the only needle free flu vaccine called the FluMist. It will not be available for them this year.
The Centers for Disease Control came out and said it just wasn't offering enough protection against the flu. So, the American Academy of Pediatrics changed its recommendations. So now, there's just one option. And as one of our local pediatricians explains, the needle really is your best bet.
Getting a flu shot is no fun, no matter how old you are. It can be especially hard for kids.
Since it became available several years ago, the FluMist nasal spray was a big relief. But parents, be prepared for that dreaded trip to the doctor now because it's not an option this season.
"It's believed that the shot is actually more effective," said Dr. Vandana Bhide with Mayo Clinic.
She says the reason why the FluMist isn't working as well is hard to explain.
According to the CDC, it's accounted for about a third of flu vaccines given to children in recent years.
"I don't think we know exactly why. I think because the injectable one is seen by the entire body in the bloodstream, perhaps the immune system responds better," said Dr. Bhide.
Remember, everyone six months or older should be vaccinated for this upcoming flu season. If it's your baby's first time, Dr. Bhide says they'll need two vaccines a month apart.
If your little one is already a student, they could get the vaccine at school.
Duval County Public Schools is offering its "Teach Flu a Lesson" vaccination program starting next Tuesday.
It lasts through September 29th, it's free, and strictly voluntary.
Consent forms must be signed by a parent or guardian and returned to the school beforehand.
Clay County Schools is also vaccinating students. This is going on October 4th through the 6th. A signed consent form is also required.
Above all, Dr. Bhide says don't put it off. No matter how unpleasant it is to get a shot.
"Even healthy people can get very sick. It's a very preventable illness," said Dr. Bhide. She says be sure to check with your doctor to find out when they'll offer this year's flu vaccine.
To learn more about schedules and times for the student vaccine programs in Duval and Clay counties, visit http://www.duvalschools.org/Page/12727
Parents should look for a consent form to come home with their student, and sign and return to the school prior to the clinic. Once children are vaccinated, they will be issued a parent letter, which acts as proof of vaccination. This letter will have vaccine information, the nurse’s signature, and child’s name.
Listed below are a list of Clay County Schools where students can get their flu vaccines:
Keystone Heights High School
Keystone Heights Elementary School
McRae Elementary School
Bannerman Learning High School
Fleming Island Elementary School
Thunderbolt Elementary School
Fleming Island High School
Patterson Elementary School
Clay High School
Green Cove Junior High School
Charles E. Bennett Elementary School
Doctors Inlet Elementary School
Rideout Elementary School
Orange Park Elementary School
Argyle Elementary School
Orange Park Performing Arts Academy
OakLeaf High School
Plantation Oaks Elementary School
OakLeaf Junior High School
Clay Hill Elementary School
Wilkinson Elementary School
Wilkinson Junior High School
Middleburg High School
Middleburg Elementary School
Coppergate Elementary School
Ridgeview High School
Tynes Elementary School
Ridgeview Elementary School
Oakleaf Village Elementary School
WE Cherry Elementary School
Grove Park Elementary School
Lakeside Elementary School
Lakeside Junior High School
Orange Park High School
S. Bryan Jennings Elementary School
Orange Park Junior High School
Montclair Elementary School
Swimming Pen Creek Elementary School
Lake Asbury Elementary School
Lake Asbury Junior High School
Shadow Lawn Elementary School
Clay Charter Academy