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This information has been archived and is no longer updated. For information on the current flu season, and pregnancy vaccine safety please see Flu Vaccine.

Influenza A (H1N1) Monovalent Nasal-Spray Flu Vaccine (Live Attenuated Influenza Vaccine [LAIV]

H1N1 Nasal Spray Vaccine 2009 FAQ

What is the nasal spray flu vaccine?

There are two types of flu vaccine: the flu shot and the nasal spray vaccine. Both types of vaccine are being made against 2009 H1N1. The nasal spray flu vaccine (sometimes called LAIV for Live Attenuated Influenza Vaccine) is a vaccine made with live, weakened viruses that cannot grow at normal body temperature and is given via a nasal sprayer. This vaccine was approved for seasonal influenza viruses in 2003 and tens of millions of doses of the vaccine have been given in the United States.

How is the 2009 H1N1 nasal spray vaccine different from the seasonal nasal spray vaccine?

The 2009 H1N1 nasal spray vaccine is being made in the same way as the seasonal nasal spray vaccine, but instead of containing three weakened live flu viruses, it only contains weakened 2009 H1N1 virus. (That is why it' is called a "monovalent" vaccine.). The recommendations for who can get the 2009 H1N1 nasal spray vaccine are the same as for seasonal nasal spray vaccine. LAIV is recommended for use in healthy* people 2 years to 49 years of age who are not pregnant.

Who can be vaccinated with the 2009 H1N1 nasal-spray flu vaccine (LAIV)?

The 2009 H1N1 nasal spray vaccine is recommended for use in healthy people 2 years Through 49 years of age who are not pregnant. See below

Can health care providers get the live attenuated influenza vaccine?

Yes. LAIV is a very good option for most health care providers who are healthy, younger than 50 years old, and not pregnant. However, health care providers should not get LAIV if they are providing medical care for patients who require special environments in the hospital because they are profoundly immunocompromised (e.g., those who work in bone marrow transplant units). Although no immunocompromised patient has been shown to be harmed by use of LAIV among health care workers, the recommendation against the use of LAIV in health care workers with this type of patient contact is intended as an extra precaution for fragile immunocompromised patients. Health care workers with this type of patient contact can get LAIV, but if they do, they should wait 7 days after being vaccinated before returning to duties that include care of severely immunocompromised patients in special environments.

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