New alternatives available to fight flu, but be aware: they’ll cost you

By Matthew Garcia

Coming off the heels of last year’s stark flu season of severe influenza strains and vaccine shortages, experts are offering new precautions for this flu season and even new alternatives to fight the flu.

The AAP, American Academy of Pediatricians (AAP) has suggested that all healthy children between the age of six months and 23months receive the flu vaccination. Additionally, the AAP has recommended that individuals, such as day care givers, in close contact with kids from the age of six months to 23 months get the flu vaccine.

Sudha Chandrasekhar, a pediatrician based out of Chandler, said the new recommendations target “high risk” children.

“Kids in this age group are more likely to encounter severe sickness from the flu and are more likely to be hospitalized from their illness” Chandrasekhar said.

While, that dreadful needle seems like the only flu defense, Dr. Chandrasekhar said there are new vaccine alternatives available, but not to everybody.

A nasal spray vaccine, which came out last year at a very high price, may be widely utilized this flu season with a significant fall in price, Chandrasekhar said.

Given that the nasal spray has a weaken strain of the influenza virus rather then a dead strain like the common vaccination, the spray is only approved for completely healthy individuals between the age five and 50, Chandrasekhar said.

Chandrasekhar added that children taking aspirin, pregnant women and people allergic to eggs should avoid the nasal spray alternative

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), an estimated 5% to 20% of U.S. residents get the flu each year: an average of 114,000 people are hospitalized for flu-related complications and 36,000 Americans die each year from complications of flu.

For more flu information visit the CDC website at