Shots for kids, and maybe go egg-free

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People wondering about flu shots are getting some very specific guidance this week: Pediatricians say kids should get a shot if possible and not the FluMist nasal spray, and a major hospital group says it’s choosing egg-free vaccines for patients and staff.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends shots for children of all ages, even though the needle-free vaccine will be available, saying the shots work better. FluMist is an alternative for children who completely refuse to get a shot, the AAP says in its latest guidelines.

And the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center is taking that a step further, saying it will only be buying the two egg-free vaccines on the market: Flucelvax and FluBlok. That’s because there is some evidence these two formulations may work better than the older vaccines grown in eggs, said Dr. Richard Zimmerman, who advises the UPMC Influenza Committee.

“The egg-free vaccines appear to have perhaps a 10 percent higher effectiveness over the traditional egg-based vaccines,” Zimmerman said in an interview.

“Given the recent information about the egg-free vaccine, I plan for my family to get the egg-free this year.”