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Study backs flu spray for kids

19th February 2007

US researchers have recommended a flu nasal spray vaccine for children aged 1-5 instead of the regular influenza jab currently used.

Vaccination1

A team of doctors formed the CAIV-T Comparative Efficacy Study Group to test the comparative effectiveness of the two immunisations, and found 54.9% fewer cases of cultured-confirmed influenza in the group that received the nasal spray, which gives a dose of live, weakened virus, than in the group that received the regular vaccine, which contains dead influenza virus.

However, the team found that children under 12 months were more likely to start wheezing after vaccination if given the spray version, and advised against administering it to children in that age group, or older children with a history of wheezing or asthma.

"An evaluation of the risks and benefits indicates that live attenuated vaccine should be a highly effective, safe vaccine for children 12 to 59 months of age who do not have a history of asthma or wheezing," the report, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, concluded.

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