Flu mist not available this year, what you need to know this flu - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Flu mist not available this year, what you need to know this flu season

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -

Flu season is almost here with the cooler temperatures on the way and as we mentioned back in June, the alternative to the standard flu shot, flu-mist, is not an option for children this year. 

The flu virus hits every community each year, some harder than others and some longer than others.. 
Doctors say it all depends on how many people get vaccinated. 

Flu like symptoms include: Fever, chills, runny or stuffy nose, sore throat and body aches. 
Catching the flu is never fun, that's why the Hamilton County Health Department is being proactive this year before flu season officially starts. 
 
"We think oh it's just the flu, but it's really not just the flu," said Sharon Goforth, Hamilton County Health Dept. " You can be very sick with the flu and die from the flu." 

Children, pregnant women, the elderly and anyone with a chronic disease are most at risk 

"The first thing they need to know is flu mist will probably not be as readily available as it has been in the past we will not be using it at all here at the Health Department because the CDC has made a recommendation not to use it," said Goforth. 

Data from the last several flu seasons show the mist is not as effective as the injection vaccine. 

"Little Johnny is not going to enjoy that especially if he's gotten used to using the flu mist and spray," said Goforth, " Going back to the shot will be a big step back for parents but if you're really looking to stop the potential for flu, you really have to go back to the injection or the shot." 

Without the nasal spray option,  some health experts fear people will opt out this year, making the flu hit even harder and last longer. 

"Because the more people that we can have vaccinated, it causes something we call heard immunity," said Goforth. "The more people we can get vaccinated, when the flu comes into our community and it starts running into those folks who are immune, it doesn't have any place to go." 

Doctors maintain you can't get the flu from taking the vaccine itself because the vaccine is an inactivated dead virus. However, the vaccine does not guarantee that you won't catch the virus,  it only increases your chances of not getting it and/ or makes your flu symptoms less severe

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