It's OK for doctors to start using a kid-friendly nasal spray flu vaccine again, a federal panel said Wednesday.
Two years ago, the advisory group pulled its recommendation for FluMist vaccine after research found it wasn't working against swine flu, the kind of flu that was making most people sick then. But the Advisory Committee of Immunization Practices voted 12-2 Wednesday to recommend the nasal spray as an option for next winter's flu season.
An official from AstraZeneca, the company that makes FluMist, said the problem with the vaccine has been identified and corrected. But panel members noted there's still not good proof that FluMist works well against the swine flu bug.
"This is not an easy decision. It's always a challenge to make a decision with incomplete data," said one panel member, Dr. Edward Belongia of the Wisconsin-based Marshfield Clinic Research Foundation.
The panel makes its recommendations to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which usually accepts the advice and sends it along as guidance to doctors, hospitals and health insurers.