Nasal Spray Vs. Standard Flu Vaccine

Nasal spray flu vaccine appeared as effective as standard flu shot

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Anyssa Garza, PharmD

(RxWiki News) Researchers have been unceratin of the type of flu vaccine that is most effective at offering community protection — until now.

Vaccination against the flu not only provides direct protection, but also protects the community, which is known as herd immunity. And some past studies have suggested that the nasal spray vaccine might offer better overall community protection than the standard flu shot.  

This study looked at whether the nasal spray flu vaccine provided better community protection than the standard flu shot. This was possible because the researchers evaluated Hutterite colonies. Hutterite colonies are small communities with communally shared buildings, such as dining halls. 

The flu is a major cause of illness and death in children.

The nasal spray flu vaccine did not offer better or worse overall community protection from the flu, these researchers found. 

Furthermore, the nasal spray flu vaccine appeared to be similar to the standard flu shot in providing direct protection. That's a finding that differs from some past findings, which led to the recommendation that the nasal spray vaccine not be used for the upcoming flu season, according to a press release about this study.

The Canadian researchers behind this study randomly assigned nearly 1,200 children to receive the nasal spray vaccine and nearly 3,500 to receive the standard flu shot. 

This study only looked at Hutterite communities, so its findings may not apply to the general population. 

Talk to your child's doctor about which vaccine is the best choice.

This study was published in the Annals of Internal Medicine

The Canadian Institutes of Health Research and Public Health Agency of Canada funded this research. Some study authors reported funds from pharmaceutical companies not related to the current study.

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Review Date: 
August 18, 2016
Last Updated:
August 23, 2016