Get the latest COVID-19 information: vaccines, testing, getting care and more
Doctor's office
Enter your doctor's name to get office information.
Find labs in your network
Enter your primary care doctor's name to find labs in your network.
Find urgent care centers in your network
Enter your primary care doctor's name to find urgent care centers in your network.
Verify your medical group

Refer to your insurance card or call your insurance provider to determine your medical group.

You can also search for your primary care doctor to find the medical group you and your doctor belong to.

Driving Directions
Update Information
Forgot Password

Please enter your e-mail address.

Sharp Health News

Is a nasal spray flu vaccine effective?

Nov. 23, 2020

Nasal spray mist

Getting a shot, no matter how important it is to your health, can cause anxiety and sometimes pain.

Many people, especially parents of young children, were relieved when the nasal spray flu vaccine called FluMist® became available. However, researchers determined the nasal spray vaccine was less effective in children than the flu shot on one of the four flu strains present during one flu season. While other countries like Canada allowed the nasal spray, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) did not recommend FluMist from 2016 through 2018. Last year, the CDC added it back into the rotation.

So this year, when getting the flu vaccine is more important than ever due to COVID-19 and a potential “twindemic,” what’s the verdict on the nasal spray vaccine?

According to Dr. Howard Smart, chair of Pediatrics at Sharp Rees-Stealy Medical Group, this year’s version of FluMist is an effective option — maybe even more so than the shot.

“Each year, manufacturers modify the various vaccines based on what they know about the strains of the flu virus. This year’s version of FluMist is proving to be as effective as shots in protecting against the flu. As an added bonus, studies have shown the protection from the nasal spray may last longer than the shots.”

Typically, providers offer FluMist to children because they are often fearful of shots. However, Dr. Smart says that he offers the nasal spray to parents and children. The CDC says it is appropriate for anyone between the ages of 6 months to 49 years old. FluMist is not recommended for those under 2 years old or age 50 and older. Pregnant women or people with weakened immune systems should not receive the nasal spray flu vaccine. Your health care provider can recommend the best version of the flu vaccine for you.

“The important thing this year is to get vaccinated against the flu. If your doctor recommends the nasal spray vaccine, you can be confident it will protect you just as well, if not better, than the vaccine administered by shot,” says Dr. Smart.

And if the painless administration prevents a few tears along the way, so much the better.

Learn more about where you can find the flu vaccine in San Diego.

You might also like:

Choose the doctor who's right for you.

At Sharp, we make it easy to find an exceptional doctor — right where you live and work.

All Categories
Contact Sharp HealthCare
Call us

Call 1-800-827-4277 or view our detailed phone directory.

For medical or psychiatric emergencies, call 911 immediately.

Email us

Please do not use this form to convey personal or medical information.

How would you like to be contacted?
Date of birth

What's This?

These important numbers are located on your billing statement.

Find your Sharp Rees-Stealy account number

Find your SharpCare account number

Find your SharpCare account number
What's GDPR?

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) governs the processing of personal information gathered from individuals while they are in the European Union (EU) and parts of the EEA (European Economic Area, which currently includes Iceland, Lichtenstein and Norway).

We are sorry, but we are unable to process your price estimate if you live or are travelling within the EU or affiliated nations.

What's This?

Many surgery and procedure names sound similar. If possible, please provide the current procedure terminology (CPT) code, which can be found on the order from your doctor.

If you cannot provide the CPT code, please contact your doctor's office for the CPT or a detailed description of services.