Alternative to Flu Vaccine

The Grayson County Health Department has received a supply of FluMist, the flu vaccine that is given via nasal spray instead of by injection.

FluMist can be used by healthy children and adults ages 5 through 49 years old, including household members of most people at high risk for influenza complications. So it's a good alternative for people who are not in a priority population for flu shots at this time of shortage.

FluMist should not be used by
· Adults 50 years of age or older or children younger than 5
· People who have long-term health problems with heart disease, lung disease, asthma, kidney disease, metabolic disease such as diabetes, or anemia or other blood disorders
· People with a weakened immune system due to:
-- HIV/AIDS or another disease that affects the immune system
-- Long-term treatment with drugs that weaken the immune system, such as steroids
-- Cancer treatment with x-rays or drugs
· Children or adolescents on long-term aspirin treatment
· Pregnant women
· Anyone with a history of Guillain-Barré Syndrome

FluMist vaccine contains live viruses, so it can cause mild symptoms in the person who is vaccinated. Symptoms may include runny nose, nasal congestion, cough, headache, sore throat, fever, and abdominal pain. These symptoms did not last long and went away on their own.

FluMist will be available at the Sherman office of the Grayson County Health Department, 515 N. Walnut, on Mondays and Thursdays from 1:00 to 5:30 p.m. beginning October 18. The cost will be $30 cash. For more information, call 903-893-0131.