Flu mist vs TF flu shot - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 18 Old 10-28-2006, 12:34 AM - Thread Starter
 
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For a 5 yr old. Which is the safer of the 2? THere is an infant in the house also.

mom to 4 kids, ages 20 mos to 11 years

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#2 of 18 Old 10-28-2006, 01:35 AM
 
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The way I see it, you have safety in terms of no live viruses in the injectable vs greater mucosal immunity from the FluMist. I think it's just a trade off where you have to decide which risk is better for your family. Where I live, peak season is usually not until Dec-Feb so many families are choosing to do the injectable but to delay it until like Nov-Dec.
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#3 of 18 Old 10-28-2006, 02:07 PM
 
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The shot's safe, but doesn't work.
The mist (probably) works almost half the time, but isn't exactly safe. (live virus that could make the infant sick, viral contaminant issues, etc.)

If I had to choose, I'd probably go with the mist, since it might actually do some good, and is less traumatic for the child.
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#4 of 18 Old 10-28-2006, 02:46 PM
 
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Here is a link to several hundred VAERS reports for FluMist since 2003: http://www.medalerts.org/vaersdb/fin...O=1&PERPAGE=10

VAERS = Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System
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#5 of 18 Old 10-28-2006, 05:32 PM
 
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I agree with Amnesiac that it's a trade-off. There are different kinds of safety. Safer for the 5 year old? Safer for those the 5 year old will come into contact with (such as the infant)? Safer in terms of not getting the flu? Or safer in terms of not having an adverse reaction? I think you might want to nail down what you're most worried about and then go from there.
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#6 of 18 Old 10-29-2006, 12:25 AM - Thread Starter
 
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safer in terms of not having an adverse reaction

mom to 4 kids, ages 20 mos to 11 years

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#7 of 18 Old 10-29-2006, 01:09 AM
 
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Well, if adverse reaction is your concern, is a light case of the flu an adverse reaction? If so, then I'd steer clear of FluMist, because it often seems to give folks a touch of the flu (in the interest, a proponent might say, of avoiding a severer case later in the season).

In contrast, FluZone will not give your five year old the flu. Adverse reactions, barring an egg or antibiotic allergy in your child, are more likely to be the typical mild shot reactions: possible fevers, soreness, etc. You can read about possible reactions in the package insert or on the VIS. A recent study found that there were few short-term adverse reactions in a study of thousands of children.

Ultimately, there's not a great deal of data on adverse reactions to either vax in five year olds, because this is the first year the flu vax has been recommended for the 3-5 age group.
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#8 of 18 Old 10-29-2006, 01:42 AM
 
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A recent study found that there were few short-term adverse reactions in a study of thousands of children.
That was not a real scientific study!
The sort of science used in that study is better classified as pseudoscience!

I know I sound like a lunatic here, but I really, really mean that.

That said, my "gut feeling" is that the shot is probably safe.
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#9 of 18 Old 10-29-2006, 03:00 AM
 
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Yeah, the flu shot doesn't use aluminum as an adjuvant, so if you get the TF version, I'd say it's safe. I just don't see the point because I don't think it works. And the mist could give your infant the flu, although I don't know how likely that is if you're breastfeeding. I personally wouldn't want to chance it with the mist, though. DH is military and will probably have to get the mist this year and I'm just so incredibly mad about it, because I do not want my two-year-old to get the flu from it. I'm not afraid of the flu, but I don't want her to catch it!
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#10 of 18 Old 10-29-2006, 12:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by BrklynMama View Post
this is the first year the flu vax has been recommended for the 3-5 age group.

Was it recommended in the past for household contacts of infants?

mom to 4 kids, ages 20 mos to 11 years

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#11 of 18 Old 10-29-2006, 12:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Ok, so I've ruled out the mist. And still on the fence about the shot. It's concerning to me that the shot has formaldehyde and all that other gross stuff in it.

I have seen a lot on hospitalization rates in children from the flu but not much if at all on death rate. I'm assuming it's because a child dying from the flu is extremely rare??

mom to 4 kids, ages 20 mos to 11 years

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#12 of 18 Old 10-29-2006, 01:10 PM
 
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Did you ever know a kid in school who died of the flu?
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#13 of 18 Old 10-29-2006, 01:22 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mangosink0 View Post
I'm assuming it's because a child dying from the flu is extremely rare??


Even the CDC states that pediatric influenza mortality is rare.

As far as hospitalization, an infant/child can be hospitalized due to many illnesses for which no vaccine exists. It's not limited to influenza. 170,000+ children are hospitalized annually due to asthma and croup alone.

.
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#14 of 18 Old 10-29-2006, 01:31 PM
 
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In terms of evaluating death and hospitalization rates from flu, I found the following very helpful. It's a summary of the 2005-6 flu season from the CDC.

http://www.cdc.gov/flu/weekly/weekly...-06summary.htm

Quote: "During October 2, 2005 though June 24, 2006, 41 pediatric deaths have been reported to CDC from 14 states."

You'll also find death and hospitalization stats in the CDC Pink Book on flu.

You know, it's not that deaths don't happen. It's just that they're very, very rare. You have to assess for yourself what you feel the risk level for your family is.

In answer to your question about recommendations for household contacts of infants.... I'm no history expert, but this is certainly the first year recommending mass immunization of five year olds. To see what was being recommended last year, you can look on page 242 of the Pink Book for recommendations on who should get the shot, and p. 245 for who should get the FluMist. I do not see anything indicating that anyone in household contact with infants is or was recommended to get the shot. Usually language about recommending shots for those in contact with people in high risk categories refers to health care and nursing home staff.

http://www.cdc.gov/Nip/publications/pink/flu.pdf

I would find it odd if there were a recommendation that those in contact with infants get the mist, since there's a known shedding risk (see Pink Book also).
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#15 of 18 Old 10-29-2006, 01:47 PM
 
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Originally Posted by BrklynMama View Post
I do not see anything indicating that anyone in household contact with infants is or was recommended to get the shot. U

I would find it odd if there were a recommendation that those in contact with infants get the mist, since there's a known shedding risk (see Pink Book also).

Persons Who Live With or Care for Persons at
High Risk for Influenza-Related Complications


In addition, to prevent transmission to persons identified above, vaccination with TIV or LAIV is recommended for the following persons, unless contraindicated:

*healthy household contacts and caregivers of children aged 0--59 months

*persons at high risk for severe complications from influenza and health-care workers.

http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/rr5510a1.htm
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#16 of 18 Old 10-29-2006, 03:47 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mangosink0 View Post
Ok, so I've ruled out the mist. And still on the fence about the shot. It's concerning to me that the shot has formaldehyde and all that other gross stuff in it.

I have seen a lot on hospitalization rates in children from the flu but not much if at all on death rate. I'm assuming it's because a child dying from the flu is extremely rare??

What do you know about the studies on the effectiveness of the shot in children?
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#17 of 18 Old 10-29-2006, 05:06 PM
 
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Oops, sorry, I missed the boat on this one! Looking at the Pink book again I found on p. 244, "Beginning in 2004...Household contacts and other caregivers of children younger than 24 months of age are also encouraged to receive annual influenza vaccination." And it's also in the Pink Book that I found info on the FluMist shedding, so again I'm really not seeing the logic in recommending it for those around babies.

What's weird to me is that there are so many MILLIONS of household contacts of infants...and there is just not enough flu vax out there to cover all those people. Seems like year after year, the CDC recommends coverage much wider than there is supply. I guess they're hoping that if they keep recommending, demand will sooner or later create supply.

This article, from the NYT in 2004, is interesting, because it makes it very clear that the vaccination of schoolchildren is utilitarian in nature - it's not really to protect the five year olds, it's to protect those they come into contact with. I'm not necessarily against utilitarian vaxing but if I had a five year old I'd want to be very clear about who I felt I was protecting by flu vaxing. I think this article is a little more straightforward than the information parents are currently getting.

http://www.nytimes.com/2004/12/26/we...53e445&ei=5070
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#18 of 18 Old 10-29-2006, 05:31 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrklynMama View Post
Seems like year after year, the CDC recommends coverage much wider than there is supply. I guess they're hoping that if they keep recommending, demand will sooner or later create supply.

"Health officials have been concerned about periodic shortages of flu vaccine, and are encouraging manufacturers to commit to substantial annual dose production. A recommendation to expand flu shots will reassure manufacturers," said CDC Director Dr. Julie Gerberding.

"Obviously, if there's an expanded recommendation for using the vaccine, the market increases," Gerberding said.

**********
Unfortunately, with expanded age recommendations, the CDC fails to include with it the recommendation for manufacturers to produce thimerosal free formulations.

They are banking on the parent perceiving the risk of contracting influenza greater than giving their child a thimerosal-laced vaccine.
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