Are you in good health and between the ages of 5 and 49? Then you can protect yourself from the flu with FluMist, the nasal vaccine that's sprayed into your nose.
"Flu Mist is very effective in preventing the flu," says Dr. Bob Rakita, an expert on infectious diseases at Virginia Mason Medical Center in Seattle. "It's at least as effective as the flu shot."
There is one big difference between the flu shot and FluMist. Flu shots are made from dead viruses, which is why you can't get the flu from a flu shot. FluMist contains weakened viruses, weakened but still alive.
For adults side effects of taking FluMist include: runny nose, headache, sore throat and cough, but no fever.
There isn't all that much FluMist available. About 3 million doses will be made this year. It costs more than the flu shot, but for someone who is healthy, older than 5 and younger than 50, it is an option.
By the way, while a pregnant woman can get a flu shot, she should not take FluMist.
How can I find FluMist? You should talk to your primary care physician or pediatrician.
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