FDA approves FluMist for children over 2

WASHINGTON The Food and Drug Administration has approved expanding the population for use of the influenza vaccine FluMist to include children between the ages of 2 and 5. Previously the vaccine was approved for children of at least 5.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control Prevention has recommendations that all children aged 6 months to 59 months receive an influenza vaccination. The study for FluMist, a MedImmune product, showed that children under the age of 2 should not get the vaccine because there was an increased risk of hospitalization and wheezing.

“The goal of preventing influenza is now more attainable with the availability of FluMist for younger children,” said Jesse Goodman, director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research. “This approval also offers parents and health professionals a needle-free option for squeamish toddlers, who may be reluctant to get a traditional influenza shot.”

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