The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is advising that older adults stick to the injectable version of the flu vaccine for the 2017-18 flu season.
The nasal spray version, marketed under the name FluMist, fell out of favor with the CDC last flu season. For the second year in a row, the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices has decided not to recommend it based on recent poor performance compared to the injection versions of the influenza vaccine.
For those age 65 and older, the CDC urges physicians to consider a strengthened version of the vaccine, designed for specifically for older people with less robust immune systems. The Fluzone High-Dose Seasonal Influenza Vaccine has four times the antigens of the traditional injection vaccine and can help older people build better resistance to flu germs.
All flu vaccines take about two weeks to build their germ-fighting capabilities within the body, and should not be administered to someone who is not feeling well.
The peak U.S. influenza season is usually late December through early March, but flu activity can begin at any time in the fall and last throughout May.