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What are some side effects of the nasal-spray flu vaccine?

Note: A CDC panel concluded in 2016 that FluMist has not been effective in recent years. The panel did not recommend its use for the 2016-2017 flu season. 

The viruses in the nasal-spray flu vaccine (aka LAIV or FluMist) are weakened and do not cause severe symptoms often associated with influenza illness. (In clinical studies, transmission of vaccine viruses to close contacts has occurred only rarely.)

In children, side effects from LAIV (FluMist) can include:

  • runny nose
  • wheezing
  • headache
  • vomiting
  • muscle aches
  • fever

In adults, side effects from LAIV (FluMist) can include:

  • runny nose
  • headache
  • sore throat
  • cough

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.