array of immune responses than typical inactivated flu shots and may be more protective as a result,” he adds
Giving the vaccine as a nasal mist may also lead to additional defense around the lining of the nose, where most viruses enter the body, Creech notes.
“There are sometimes flu shot availability issues, and it may be easier to get one vaccine over another,” he shares.
Each year, the flu shot is a bit of a gamble as researchers scramble to predict what strain/s will circulate, and they don’t always get it exactly right. “There are data to suggest that when the vaccine strain we choose doesn’t match the strain that ends up circulating, live vaccines may be able to provide more protection than the inactivated vaccines,” Creech adds.
The findings were published online March 28 in Pediatrics.
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Getting your child vaccinated
“Annual influenza vaccination for children with asthma is considered best practice and highly recommended to reduce influenza-related exacerbation and death in this population,” says Dr. Shilpa Patel. She’s the medical director of the Children’s National Hospital asthma clinic in Washington, D.C.
“Although it was a small study, it was well designed, and the findings are consistent with prior studies supporting the safety of live attenuated influenza vaccine in children with persistent asthma,” Patel adds.
Next flu season, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s advisory committee on immunization practices can consider this evidence when they update their annual influenza vaccination recommendations, she says.
Currently, the CDC suggests that people with asthma should not receive the live nasal mist vaccine. If you have questions about how the vaccine may affect your child, consult with your child’s doctor.