Influenza: March 2007 Archives

Nasal flu vaccine works better for kids

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Children given a flu vaccine by nasal spray were better protected against the disease than those given the old shot in the arm, according to new research in the most recent New England Journal of Medicine.

The study, which followed nearly 8,500 children in 16 countries, found the vaccine sniffed up the nose reduced the influenza "attack rate" in children by 55 percent compared to the traditional injections.

The attack rate is the number of people who get sick compared to the total number of people in a study group.

"Children get the flu twice as often as adults," said Dr. Robert Belshe of St. Louis University, the study's lead author. "It's important to vaccinate kids against influenza -- and to identify new and more effective flu vaccine options -- because kids have a higher attack rate for influenza infection than adults."