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BOB MOON: Young children get the flu twice as often as adults and they suffer more from it. They’re also not fond of that big vaccination needle. Now, according to a new study in the New England Journal of Medicine, there might be a way for young children to avoid needles and get even better protection against the flu. Janet Babin reports from the Marketplace Innovations Desk at North Carolina Public Radio:
JANET BABIN: Researchers looked at more than 8,000 children between 6 months and 5 years.
They found that kids who received a nasal spray vaccine reduced their chances of getting the flu by 55 percent compared to kids who got the shot.
Robert Belshe at St. Louis University School of Medicine was a lead researcher on the study. He says the nasal spray gets more flu antibodies into the nose, where they can make the most difference:
ROBERT BELSHE: Flu enters the body through the nose. And if we have antibodies in the nose, we’re protected against flu.
But the nasal vaccine can cost up to $10 more per dose than the shot.
The only company that makes nasal flu vaccines, Medimmune, funded the study.
The Food and Drug Administration is considering whether to approve nasal flu vaccines for children under 5. The drug’s already approved for people ages 5 to 49.
I’m Janet Babin for Marketplace.
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