Illinois Health Officials Urge People To Skip Flu Vaccine Nasal Spray

Sep 21, 2016

The less painful way to fight influenza may not be the best option this year.

Credit "Syringe and Vaccine" by Flickr User NIAID / (CC X 2.0)

The flu vaccine shot's effectiveness was around 60 percent last year. Illinois health officials are questioning how well the nasal spray alternative worked.

So they recommend people stick with the vaccine shot this season, which is updated to match circulating viruses.

Melaney Arnold, with the Illinois Department of Public Health, says the flu has symptoms similar to the common cold.

“But what’s different with the flu, is they typically come on very suddenly and they’re very intense in most cases," Arnold said.

She also says it’s important for people 65 years and older to get the vaccine to avoid severe complications.

“As you get older, your immune system weakens a bit. So there is a high dose vaccine that seniors can check in to," Arnold said.

Arnold says people should wash their hands frequently and visit a doctor if they have symptoms.