Nasal Spray Flu Vaccine Safe for Kids With Asthma


March 30, 2022

The nasal spray flu vaccine does not worsen symptoms for children with asthma despite current warnings from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, according to a new clinical trial published in the journal Pediatrics.

Researchers found that the quadrivalent live attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV4), also called the nasal spray vaccine, is just as safe for kids with asthma as the intramuscular quadrivalent inactivated influenza (IIV4) vaccine, also known as the flu shot.

Researchers found that in a trial of 151 children between 5 and 17 years old with persistent asthma, the vaccine spray did not exacerbate breathing problems.

Within 42 days after vaccination, 10.8 percent of children who received the nose spray vaccine experienced worsening asthma symptoms, compared to 14.7 percent of those who received the shot.

The nasal spray was developed as a painless alternative to the shot for patients between 2 and 49 years old.

“These data support reexamining precautions to using LAIV4 in children with asthma, which could be particularly important during influenza pandemics, at times when IIV4 supplies are limited, in situations of public/school mass vaccination clinics using LAIV, or for children with significant needle aversions,” the authors wrote.

The CDC, however, advises against using the spray in children with asthma.

The results of the new study stand in contrast to those from a previous study from 2004 suggesting the spray was associated with increased airway issues in children under 3 years old.