PANEL ENDORSES FLUMIST FOR YOUNG CHILDREN

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The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices has recommended the flu vaccine FluMist for use in children aged 2 to 5. The recommendation follows an expanded approval of the vaccine?s use in September by the FDA.

The panel said the nasal influenza vaccine is an option and did not favor it over traditional flu shots. Children with a history of asthma or wheezing should get the flu shot, according to the committee members. The panel also voted for a government program that pays for vaccines to extend its FluMist coverage to the younger age group.

FluMist, made by MedImmune Inc, received FDA approval in 2003 for use in children ages 5 and older and in adults up to age 49.