Flumist is an intranasal flu vaccine with similar efficacy as the traditional injectable flu vaccine. 

It may be more effective than traditional flu vaccine in years when there is a “mismatch” (the actual flu strain in the community is slightly different than the one that was put into the vaccine.)

While traditional flu vaccine is inactivated (contains no live virus), the Flumist is a live attenuated vaccine (it contains weakened strains of the flu virus.)

Flumist may be given to: healthy children 2 years and up, and adults.

It should not be given to: children who have egg allergy or are immunosuppressed.

Flumist is thimerisol free. 

Any child under age nine who has not received any type of flu vaccine in the past will require two doses of Flumist one month apart (just as they would with the injectable vaccine.)

Flumist can be given starting in August and will last throughout the flu season.  It may be given to college students before they leave for fall semester.

Flumist is administered by squeezing a small amount of liquid into each nostril.

Side effects of Flumist are similar to those of the traditional injectable vaccine; some children complain of mild flu symptoms such as runny nose/nasal congestion, sore throat, cough, irritability, headache, chills, vomiting, muscle aches and weakness.