Sudbury’s Health Unit concerned that shortage of nasal spray for flu will keep kids, parents away

There will be no nasal spray flu vaccine available for children this year, and that could affect how many get vaccinated.

According to Public Health Sudbury and Districts, the number of confirmed influenza cases spiked in Greater Sudbury last year.

But even with the increase in cases, public health nurse Karly McGibbon says she’s worried that fewer people will vaccinate their children against the flu this year.

That’s because a popular nasal spray vaccine is not available.

FluMist nasal spray is not being manufactured in Canada this year due to a shortage of an active ingredient.

“One thing we really want to stress is that we don’t want parents to be afraid to vaccinate their children with the needle,” McGibbon said.

“We’ll do it as quick and painless as we can. We don’t want this to deter parents from bringing in their children.”

McGibbon says she was “really sad” when she heard the nasal spray wasn’t being offered this year.

“As nurses, we loved giving it, and also as a parent, it’s much easier to give that to your child than an injection.”

When it was available, the majority of kids ages two to 17 chose the spray over a needle.

McGibbon added that so far, there are no confirmed cases of influenza in the northeast region this season.