(NBC News) – The first doses of this year’s flu vaccine have been rolling off assembly lines for weeks now, and this season, the vaccine will have to be administered with a needle instead of a nasal spray.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention no longer recommends FluMist, saying it just doesn’t provide strong enough protection.
Doctors at Nationwide Children’s Hospital say there are ways to comfort young children who are afraid of needles, such as blowing bubbles, singing, or watching videos as distractions.
“In older kids, they like to have some control and to understand what’s happening, so taking the time to explain what’s happening to them, showing them the tools, relaxation techniques such as breathing and guided imagery can help to reduce anxiety and help the shot to be quick and easy for them,” Melissa Winterhalter, MD, says.
Experts recommend everyone over the age of six months get vaccinated against the flu.
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