Study shows inhaled flu vaccine safe

Two years after being introduced to the market, the FluMist intranasal vaccine appears to be safe for use among healthy people aged 5 to 49, according to the latest evidence.

"It sort of confirms in a very major way the overall safety of this vaccine for the age groups for which it has been specifically used," said Dr. Pascal James Imperato, chairman of the department of preventive medicine at State University of New York Downstate Medical Center, in New York City. "I don't think there's terribly much new here that we didn't know before, but it gives an added margin of comfort."

The findings appear in the Dec. 7 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Until the 2002-2003 flu season, the only licensed &to=' target=_blank>flu vaccine in the United States was the inactivated, trivalent injectable vaccine, better known as the annual flu shot, reports Forbes.

US government researchers reported yesterday in the Journal of the American Medical Association that a study of 2.5 million people who received the vaccine over the past two flu seasons showed no unexpected serious risks.

The vaccine, FluMist, has been approved since 2003 for use against seasonal flu. It's promoted by US health officials but has been adopted slowly.

The vaccine is sprayed in the nose and is approved for healthy people aged 5 to 49 but not recomended for people with asthma.

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