WASHINGTON: It's barely pumpkin latte season and already signs are up advertising *flu* shots! One vaccine that's been off the market for a couple years is back this year.
Two years ago the nasal spray vaccine was taken off the market because the Center for Disease Control said it was no longer effective for that particular flu season.
For those who tend to get a little needle frantic, the CDC now says this year's nasal spray vaccine should be effective for this year's flu strain. In order to get the nasal spray vaccine, however, you need to meet some criteria.
"You have to be at least 2 years of age, and no older than 49. You cannot be pregnant," said Astria Health Center Dr. Chase Livingston. There are also a lot of other health constraints. People with chronic medical conditions aren't suppose to get the nasal spray as well."
The nasal spray vaccine is considered a live vaccine, which is why these restrictions are in place.
"A live vaccine is going to have actual particles of the virus, but it has been reduced down to where it will not actually cause the flu," said Dr. Livingston. "People think that when you get the flu shot,then you get the flu. That's just not true."
Though you may still get some side effects: runny nose, a sore throat or a cough those symptoms are limited and not the actual flu.
"When people get these vaccines, it's usually cold season anyways, so it's there or already brewing," said Dr. Livingston.
Because last year's flu season was so bad, Dr.Livingston says regardless of which vaccine you choose- make sure you do get one.
The nasal spray is expected to cover all four strains of the flu this year according to the CDC.