Pediatricians say 'no' to FluMist

Photo does not have a caption

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

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:

October 4

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

October 5

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

October 6

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


About the Author: