CDC says FluMist spray ineffective, recommends shots

UPPER EAST SIDE, Manhattan (WABC) -- Three months ago the Centers for Disease Control recommended against using the FluMist spray, calling only flu shots effective, so now major insurance companies are not paying for the FluMist and doctors are not even stocking it.

No more mist, which was so easy for kids, now only shots will be available. Some parents might be as bummed as kids.

"That's really too bad, I know the mist is so easy...disappointing," a parent said.

"I know kids are so afraid of shot, but it's a quick thing, it's over and you know," another parent said.

Since the CDC has recommended against the FluMist, major insurance companies like Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield are: "following the Centers for Disease Control and prevention advisory...That nasal spray flu vaccine should not be used for the upcoming 2016-2017 flu season."

"It was ineffective yes, for the last three years when the shot was about 60% or better with a shot," said Roberto Posado, M.D., Mount Sinai Health System.

The FluMist has been around for about 10 years, and 30% of people chose it because they prefer a spray in the nose to a shot in the arm.

Kids were the primary customers, among adults; more like 15% chose the mist. The

So what's the most important thing to remember?

"Get vaccinated!" Dr. Posado said.

Dr. Posado has a sobering reminder for parents whose kids are squeamish.

"A lot of children end up coming to the emergency room, and across the U.S. dozens of them die each year," Dr. Posado said.

"And thousands of people die each year," Eyewitness News said.

"Correct," Dr. Posado said.

His advice is to do what a lot of moms do, call ahead to the doctor and get a shot before the kids do, to show your child that they will be just fine.
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