As the flu season approaches, pediatricians have a new route of administration for the influenza vaccine. FluMist, a nasal spray vaccine, was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and can be administered to healthy children ages 5 and older.

Pediatricians should keep in mind that FluMist, a live, attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV), and the inactivated vaccine are recommended for opposite groups of children, according to Margaret B. Rennels, M.D., FAAP, chair of the AAP Committee on Infectious Diseases (COID).

FluMist is a cold-adapted trivalent vaccine that contains live, attenuated H1N1, H3N2 and B strains of influenza. The same virus strains are included in the inactivated, injectable vaccine.

While the LAIV can be used only for healthy older children, pediatricians are encouraged to use the inactivated vaccine on children ages 6 months to 24 months as well as children older than 6 months with chronic illnesses. The best way...

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